Yours truly likes to shine a light on music from nations that so far have remained an almost blind spot on the world music map. The work of Tita Nzebi, from the small but oil-rich nation of Gabon in Central Africa certainly meets that description, but as you might have deduced from album title 'From Kolkata', the Gabonese also adds an Indian dimension to this album. Tita hails from Mbigou, a town in the south of Gabon, near the border with Congo-Brazzaville, but only started to focus on a musical career when she arrived in Paris in the late nineteen nineties. Stylistically you could compare Nzebi's music with that of female colleagues like Dobet Gnahoré, Fatoumata Diawara or Rokia Traore, but Tita sings in Nzebi, a language only used by the ethnic group of the same name on the border between Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville. Only for the socio-critical 'Dictature Inavoué', in which she expresses herself about the political situation in her homeland Gabon, where "president-for-life" Omar Bongo has been in power for more than 40 (!) years without interruption and with the continuous oil dollars flooding into the country only rewarded himself and a handful of trusted loyalists, the singer switches to French. While on tour in India back in 2017, Tita met some local baul musicians (itinerant mystical minstrels in Bangladesh and West Bengal that form both a syncretic religious sect and a musical tradition, make up only a small part of the Bengal population, but exert a considerable influence on Bengal culture and in 2005 were included in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity) in Kolkata, the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, and decided to invite them for a collaboration; so on 'From Kolkata', the voices of Gobinda Das Bairagya (the aptly titled 'Bâul Song') and Titash Sen (title track 'From Kolkata') can also be heard. Excellent Afro-Asian crossover production.