Direct From Dakar

Omar Pene & Super Diamono

Released 24 June 2022

  1. Aral Sa Doom
  2. Mouride
  3. Rër
  4. Soweto
  5. Niane
  6. Coumba Xaliss
  7. Gaïnde
  8. Xamlene
  9. Yaye Boye
  10. Banna
  11. Diaraf
  12. Douweye

Liner notes

Super Diamono was created in 1972 from the merger of two major groups from Senegal— the Cadd Orchestra, led by Cheikh Diagne, and Mady Konate’s Tropical Jazz. This is where Omar Pene started his musical career. The group was reshuffled in 1975 when Bailo Diagne, a well-known guitar player in Senegal who had introduced Omar Pene into the group in 1972, took on the leadership. At that time the group also contained the talents of Bob Sene, Pape Bass, Adama Faye and Pape Dieng.

Having been through turbulent times with many musicians passing through the band’s line-up, Omar Pene took over the captaincy of the group and ushered in a new era of stability and dedication. Since 1991 Super Diamono has operated out of a company, Mediator, which Omar started to put the band on a firmly professional footing.

Omar Pene has generated his own style of vocal delivery to carry the lyrics of the songs he has written for the band. His beautiful haunting melodies and the dynamic sophisticated arrangements bear witness to the fact that good music is a universal language that draws people together. He now has a verydedicated and expanding following in Senegal and abroad.

After 23 years in the music business, Omar Pene still strives to further evolve the jazz-mbalax style which is the hallmark of Super Diamono. Thanks to these efforts, Senegalese music continues to break new ground and the group’s popularity continues to grow, as evidenced by the success of their 1995 tours of Europe, USA and Canada.

Photo credit: Stephen Lovell-Davis

About the Songs

1. Aral Sa Doom

A song about the need to vaccinate children (an educational message).


2. Mouride

The name of the sect of Bamba Serigne Touba.


3. Rër

‘Lost’: someone who undermines his own country when he is abroad is himself lost.


4. Soweto

A song about Soweto.

5. Niane

‘The Prayer’: every day we get out of bed praying for a better future.


6. Coumba Xaliss

‘The Lady Follower’: a good housewife who goes to the market for her family must always be ready to contribute with her own money.


7. Gaïnde

‘The Lion’: the baby lion must not be afraid of death.


8. Xamlene

‘Awareness’:  a song about the crisis in Rwanda, calling Africa to stop the war.

9. Yaye Boye

‘The Mother’: a tribute to Omar’s mother and to all women on earth.


10. Banna

A tribute to Omar’s wife— a song about the one he loves.


11. Diaraf

The name of a football team in Dakar.


12. Douweye

‘It Won’t Last’: a song about faith and integrity.

Omar Pene & Super Diamono at Real World Studios, 24 July 1996. Photo credit: Stephen Lovell-Davis


  • Super Diamono and their leader are in thundering form, flipping at will between funk, jazz and mbalaz, as slinky, knowing and tight as anything that came out of New Orleans. Potent music. Folk Roots (UK)



The Musicians: Omar Pene lead vocals; Babacar Dieng vocals; Mada Ba vocals; Ousmane Sow keyboard; Iba Ndiaye keyboard; Papa Dembel Diop bass guitar; Doudou Konare guitar ; Thio Mbaye percussion; Lappa Diagne drums; Matthew Thurling trumpet; Matt Sibley saxophone.

Produced and recorded by Peter Walsh assisted by Russell Kearney
Additional recording by Tchad Blake assisted by Jacquie Turner
Mixed by Ben Findlay
Additional horn recording by Ben Findlay
Recorded at Real World Studios, Box, Wiltshire, UK

All songs written by Omar Pene

A Real World Design
Graphic Design by Nick Robertson
Front cover photography by Stephen Lovell-Davis
Textile photography by Vince Goodsell
Other photography by Stephen Lovell-Davis and Simon Sleath
Africa map image based on a textile supplied courtesy of David Whitehead & Sons (Malawi) Ltd and the Barbican Art Gallery.

Sleeve notes by Cheikh Mbaye

Further Listening

  • Fatteliku (Live in Athens 1987)

    Youssou N’Dour

    Released 15 October 2015

    October, 1987. An open-air amphitheatre overlooking the twinkling sprawl of night time Athens. Thousands of people are going crazy for a young Senegalese singer they'd never heard of until Peter Gabriel had walked onstage and introduced him. On the cusp of Western stardom this is N'Dour's opening set from that legendary Live in Athens show.
  • Emotion

    Papa Wemba

    Released 13 March 1995

    Fresh and daring as ever, this world-class singer continues his ascendancy to global notoriety with total emotional impact. A brilliant blast of pop and dance rhythms make up the brightest, most accessible album of Papa Wemba’s career.

Further reading

Les Amazones d’Afrique assert women’s freedom of expression with new single ‘Kuma Fo’

The track features on their forthcoming Jacknife Lee-produced album Musow Danse.

John Metcalfe announces new album and reveals first track ‘Xylem’

Tree is set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally via Real World Records on 22 September 2023.

Guitarist Salif Koné demonstrates three musical styles from Mali

Rokia Koné and Les Amazones d'Afrique's guitarist demonstrates Mandigue, Bamana & Tuareg music.

Africa comes to Real World: revisiting albums by six legendary artists

Jane Cornwell explores our new reissue series 'Africa Sessions at Real World'.