- Released: March 19, 2002
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Mojo (Publisher) - 5/02, p.106
"...Her best album in a while...an attempt to fuse Benin with Brazil..."
- 2.IWOYA (FEATURING DAVE MATTHEWS)
- 5.BLACK IVORY SOUL
- 9.OKAN BALE
- 12.CES PETITS RIENS
Personnel includes: Angelique Kidjo, Dave Matthews (vocals); Romero Lumbado (acoustic guitar); Joao Mota (guitar); Dominic Kanza (nylon string guitar); Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drums); Brenda White-King, Cindy Mizelle, Dennis Collins, Curtis King (background vocals).
Recorded at Sear Sound, New York, New York.
BLACK IVORY SOUL was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album.
For the Bill Laswell-produced BLACK IVORY SOUL, Angelique Kidjo's first album since 1998's OREMI, the world music diva explores the link between the Brazilian city of Bahia and her home country of Benin. Befitting her multi-cultural background, Kidjo worked with an impressive range of talent including Brazilians Carlinhos Brown and Vinicius Cantaria, Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson and soul singer Cindy Mizelle. The result is an album's worth of music that's very much percussion-driven and peppered with plenty of irresistible grooves ranging from the life affirming "Tumba," (which is the name for congas in Benin), to the airy, acoustic guitar-dappled "Ominira" (Yoruba for freedom).
Among the few English-language songs are the funky title track with its Fela-lite backbeat and the infectious "Iwoya," seemingly a stab at college radio airplay by way of guest Dave Matthews's vocal contribution. Kidjo also continues her penchant for unusual covers--this time out, Serge Gainsbourg's "Ces Petits Riens" is given a delicate rendering and Gilberto Gil's "Refavela" benefits from a sassy, percussion-soaked interpretation sung in the African dialect of Fon. BLACK IVORY SOUL is a glimpse at what the future of global pop looks like entering the 21st Century.