Jelly Home

all the articles, back to 1995

what’s Jelly got to do with it?

The Jelly Jar
factoids, jokes & links

search / tips


Buy now at

Sally Nyolo
Tribu,  Tinder Records CD 4284679, 1997 (41:48)

 World music Mama on her own

World music. Alive, vibrant, colorful, moving and fun. Sally Nyolo’s first solo album,  Tribu, is all of this and more. This former member of Zap Mama has put together an amazing collection of songs, all done in her native tongue of Eton. It’s beautiful, it’s catchy, and it brings a sense of awareness regarding how much more there is to this Earth than the little corners we each occupy. Music to inspire travel or at least the imagination of such.

Ms. Nyolo’s strong and throaty voice proudly sings about the bonds of the tribe in the title track, "Tribu.’ She calls for her brothers and sisters to join her in the dance of life. In "Shana," the birth of her friend’s new baby girl is celebrated. There are also songs of loneliness and love such as "Tamtam" and "Bidjong Bimane." Several of the songs tell longer stories and there’s even a song about the traditional cure for tonsillitis! Of course, the only way to tell what the songs are about, unless you happen to be fluent in Eton, is to read either the French or English liner notes in the album cover. But it doesn’t really matter–the music transcends language barriers and you can feel it rather than know it.

And now let me mention another amazing feature of this album: The voices of the French female background singers, who offset and add to Ms. Nyolo’s own vocals. They add the current that makes this album flow. You’ll definitely want to sing along. And they, too, sound like they are having a great time. And, of course, all of the drums and various nontraditional percussion sounds are intriguing and, along with the unobtrusive guitar and bass noises, help make this effort complete.

In summary, I highly recommend this album and anxiously await Sally Nyolo’s next album. She is already well renowned in World Music circles and I hope to see her gain even wider recognition–not necessarily for her sake, but for yours! Either way, she deserves it. Enjoy! And, on a final note, I urge you to go see her do a live show if she is ever in your area. I had the opportunity a few months back and it was a brilliant performance with colorful costuming and dancing girls and abounding energy and mystery. Well worth whatever cover charge you may have to pay!– Kristen Eklund


Sally Nyolo, lead vocals, percussion; Christophe Lesage and Sylvain Marc, guitars; Guy Sangue, Sylvian Marc, Noel Ekouabi, bass; Xavier Desandre-Navarre, David Mirandon, additional percussion; Xavier Desandre-Navarre and Moktar Samba, drums.


Recorded in Paris at Studio Delphine, Studio Davout, and Blue Marine Records by Benoit Corre, Eric Bono, and Gerard Noel. Mixed by Jean-Clause Reynaud (and Eric Bono). Produced by Lusafrica and Sally Nyolo. Issued by Tinder Records and distributed by World Music Distribution.

song titles

Tribu • Shana • Tamtam • Awono • Ovouni Mamterry • Nkoule • Awou • Bidjong Bimane Djine • Ndongo • Meguem

of related interest

Zap Mama
 Seven, Luaka Bop/Warner Bros CD 9 46486-2

Nyolo came out of this amazing Afropean (i.e, African/European–credit Luaka Bop’s mastermind David Byrne for that concoction) group. A great album.

Copyright © 1998 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.