Timbuktu to Bombay

Ages: 2 - 12Producer: Kattam Tam Productions


Trained in classical music, piano, singing, the singularly named Kattam brings his vast knowledge and extensive world travel to the lively, and life affirming Timbuktu to Bombay. The album comes with a map, and like a fellow traveler, children are invited to retrace Kattam’s musical journey through regions of West and North Africa, through the Middle East and into India. Wonderfully fun and delightfully instructive, the musical styles range from “Away We Go,” based on a nursery rhyme found in both Sierra Leonne and Guinea, to the Moroccan percussion of “Desert.” “Rapping Africa,” delivers inventive mixing of beatbox (vocal percussion), electronic rhythms, and traditional percussion while “Zammita (Issawa Children)” is a polyrhythmic celebration of cross-cultural unity. “DERRRRRRRRRBOUKA” begins with an outstanding duet between a child vocalizing Middle Eastern drum rolls, and Kattam answering on darbouka, before breaking into a full-on multi-percussion drum fest. Throughout the album, Kattam is joined by the skillful percussion and particularly remarkable vocals of some very talented children, as in the gorgeous call and response chorus of the mystic “ALLAHOUUUUUUUUUU.” Not to be missed is the fascinating musical hybrid found in India’s Bollywood movies, mixing traditional Indian percussion, reggae, and modern electronics. The CD closes with Kattam, speaking over beatbox percussion, reminding listeners that “music is the best passport ? ” and to “keep an open mind and an open heart.” Available in French or English language editions Timbuktu to Bombay is essential for any family interested in broadening their musical horizons.

Lahri Bond ©2018 Parents’ Choice

Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

Available here