Terenga Beat Dexter Johnson & Le Super Star de Dakar :
Live à l'Etoile (SN,1969,re.2014)***°
The label chose to remaster and release this album, obviously because it shows some unique qualities, even when most of the time the band and members do not seem to have the ambition to be more distinctive, original or spectacular, it is noteworthy to hear the approach of the sax performance of Dexter Johnson into the Cuban music reintegration into an African feel or also playing more in a Cuban style.
The first track immediately is worth taking out, or being like a good introduction to the sax solo qualities and the moodiness in reinterpreting Cuban music. It has a rather slow Latin rhythm with an element of playing like a slow-beat jazz, with harmony duo singing with Spanish lyrics, some moody sax solo, a rather deep-African sounding double bass, and softly played electric rhythm guitar. This is a very moody performance. The second track add more attention to the Afro-Cuban rhythmic groove, to which the song part responses, only to show also a sax solo dance after that and mixes itself in dialogue with the electric bass. The track dances smoothly in its Cuban rhythm, while the sax provides extra improvisations to it with a bit of extra melody to the rhythms. A certain repetitive Afro-beat makes this track also hypnotically danceable, while the sax element to a degree still is unusual. “Mayeya” dances in a more sunny mood with singers, electric rhythm guitar, bass and percussion. After a while the sax provides swinging solos that are again worth hearing. “Something You Got (Live)” is a rockier track, with a louder, more primitive soul-rock voice, and led by guitars/bass/drums. Here is added a small groovy rock’n roll electric guitar solo, while the repetitive song mood dominates. The band quickly returns into an Afro-Cuban beat song. This is followed by a moody ballad. The few tracks after that are related a bit more with real Cuban styled dance-related entertainment. Also in such songs, the sax improvises a bit, modestly with the mood and with the rhythms, smoothly. One of such tracks is in boogaloo style, we also have a merengue track. The last one also shows electric guitar rhythms dominating a bit more. The last merengue goes for the dancing joy, while the band claps his hands along with the rhythm, even the melody gives all credit to the where the rhythm brings them in tune.