Teranga Beat presents Bai Janha alias "Sweet Fingers" and his psychedelic steamroller Karantamba. Composer, arranger, guitar player of Guelewar & Ifang Bondi, Bai Janha is undisputedly the most important musician to have come from Gambia. Band leader of the groups Black Star, Whales Band, Fabulous Eagles & Supreme Eagles, founder of the group Alligators who later became the Guellewar, Bai is the one who created the unique psychedelic sound in the region of Sene-Gambia, mixing traditional compositions with Soul. This record presents Bai Janha with his last group, Karantamba, a school for young musicians, in a totally unreleased recording, recorded in Thiès (Senegal) at "Sangomar" Club the 16th of August 1984. The double gatefold LP's liner notes and CD's booklet include more information and photographs outlining all the way of the living legend's musical career and the wicked percussive rhythms and compositions of this album. We hope you will enjoy!THE STORY OF BAI JANHA
Baj Jahna, alias "Sweet Fingers", is a talented and imaginative lead guitarist, a highly original composer song writer, arranger and unquestionably a master player of the guitar and Gambia's leading guitarist. His creativity in music particularly with the guitar, have earned him a personal authentic unique style of music which is noticeable in his music. He is one of the most highly respected and experienced musicians in West Africa. BAI began his musical career in the 60s, his first instrument is the Bass-Guitar. He played with the BLACK STAR Band and WHALES Band of Banjul respectively. In 1967 he joined the newly formed FABULOUS EAGLES Band becoming later that year the group's lead guitarist and Band leader. This group evoked into the legendary GUELEWAR Band of Gambia. With this group BAI has played several tunes alongside SEKOU JOBARTEH and the BEMBEYA NATIONAL JAZZ Band of Guinea Conakry, SALIF KEITA and the NATIONAL Band of Mali, LABAH SOSSEH and the late DEXTER JOHNSON and the SUPER EAGLES Band of Gambia. In the '60s and early '70s the popular music of this corner of West Africa (Senegal, Mali, Gambia & Guinea), was dominated by Latin American, Cuban, Congolese, Rock 'N' Roll, R & B and Western Music. At this time, BAI and his group and the SUPER EAGLES underwent a radical change of music direction. They took up the fight to move away from foreign music & were the first to incorporate and popularize authentic Gambian music, in particular Kora & Mbalax music. BAI & his group the SUPER ALLIGATORS together with the SUPER EAGLES were the pioneers and innovators of MBALAX & AFRO-MANDING sounds, these forms being the roots of Sene-Gambia & Mali's musical traditions. The public reaction to this positive stand that was rooted in the past Manding Empire when their forebears struggled against colonialism, exploitation & slavery, was immense and far-reaching.