In 1960 Senegal gained independence from its colonial master France. To celebrate this event a band was formed to play at the Miami Club in Dakar. The band was known as The Star Band of Dakar, and such was its legacy that several other bands were born out of the comings and goings of its members.
Arguably, Africa’s most famous singer, Youssou N’Dour, started his career in the band before forming, Étoile de Dakar with some of Star Band’s members. He went on to become a huge star after his move to Paris and commercial success came with the hit 7 Seconds, with Nenah Cherry, in 1994.
Another one of the bands that came out of the Star Band family was Orchestre Laye Thiam, named after one of the vocalists and arrangers of the songs. Today’s selection, Kokorico, the sound of the cockerel (Cock-a doodle-do), is a classic Afro-Latin track.
The organ dances, horns sing, vocals soar and screech, and the song changes direction several times, like a cockerel strutting around a yard. It is wonderful stuff.
For a detailed discography of Star Band of Dakar and all their variations please see here.
Orchestre Laye Thiam – S/T (197?) – Soumbouya Musique (IK 3024)