Les Ballets Africains was formed in 1954 by Keita Fodeba in Guinea, the former French Guinée, sometimes called Guinée-Conakry. See also my previous post on Bakary Sissoko and Daouda Diabaté .
Dance was the primary attraction of the troupe because it allowed Keita Fodeba to express many aspects of African life style by using original rhythms created by numerous unique instruments. Many folk singers and players of the traditional music were brought into the group and presented to the world during their numerous European tours.
The success these t0urs generated brought also numerous recording sessions, often registering for the first time African folk music from different parts of the continent.
On this French EP “Chants et danses de Guinée” Keita Fodeba introduces the Créole Portuguese dialect Casamance, in which most of the songs are sung. This rare EP features a selection of popular folk material, songs centuries old, often with a humorous undertone, sometimes mocking modern technology, like the song ‘Téléphonista’, a declaration of love by the telephone.
Side 1 -Couri-Couri/Aloa/Carolina
Side 2 –Téléphonista/Laïla/Saidouba
Ensemble Keita Fodeba ‘Chants et danses de Guinée’
Le chant du monde LDY 4048 -French pressing 1958