My copy of this record has perhaps the most foul-smelling sleeve I have ever had the misfortune of owning. Despite being sealed (which is incredible considering it came from the Ivory Coast in 1980), I could practically smell it when I went onto the porch to grab it from the mailbox. I may well have discovered a form of anaerobic mold.
Owning a NM copy of this record is, on the other hand, very fortunate. Solid highlife by a talented musician. Starting with slower pieces in a vein similar to Doumbia’s older material (‘Monami-O’ with its bop-influenced piano is the best of the A-side), the album gets progressively faster and funkier towards its conclusion. The last track, ‘Ile’, even approaches Afrobeat territory.
This record is the second in a series of five on Eboni Records. Each album in the series is comprised of essentially the same lineup, including Abdoulaye Soumare, Aïcha Kone and Lamine Konté (an incredibly talented kora player). The covers of the latter four are all expanded details from the cover of the first.
Mamadou Doumbia founded the band “Trio de l’entente” in 1962, which later became the “Orchestre de l’Entente” (a variation of which is on this record). Most of the group’s releases appear on the Safie Deen label. Not to be confused with the younger Mamadou Doumbia from Mali, who played with Salif Keita and the Super Rail Band.