As is often the case with Naby, it was a bit of a pick-up band, with Etienne Cakpo, Souleymane N’Daiye, and me (if you know these guys, you know that mentioning me in the same sentence is pretty much blasphemy; they’re real-deal, lifelong musicians, while I’m a dilettante late-comer) sitting in on percussion along with Eduard Souarez on drum kit and Mohammed Shaibu on guitar – and Naby on balafon and djembe, of course.
The highlight of the evening for me was having Sawe Imani come up and paste a dollar bill on my forehead and give me a big hug as I was playing. Sawe is one of my favorite dancers and dance teachers, and it means a lot to me that she appreciates my music. I started developing my chops several years ago playing for her Wednesday-night class at Spectrum, and I appreciate her patience (and that of Carold, Thaddeus, Ryan, and the other drummers) as I developed my drumming skills.
Naby is alway showing me cool dunun phrases. This one really seemed to get the dancers going (ballet style; D = dununba, K = kenkeni, actually a kenkeni/sangban flam):
1 * + * 2 * + * 3 * + * 4 * + * D . D D . . K . . . . . . . K .
(If you can’t read this notation, drop me a note and I’ll explain it in more detail.)