Personnel includes: Paul Simon (vocals, guitar); Vincent Nguini (guitar, bass, clave); Georges Seba, Martin Atangana (electric guitar); Ringo Star, Ray Phiri (guitar); C.J. Chenier (accordion); Charles Doherty (alto & tenor saxophones); Jude Bethel (tenor saxophone); Errol Ince (trumpet); Dave Bargeron (euphonium); Clifton Anderson (trombone); Greg Phillinganes (synthesizer); Bakithi Kumalo (bass); Grupo Cultural Olodum, Steve Gadd (drums); Mingo Araujo, Remy Kabocka, Ya Yo De La Nelson, Sidinho, Dom Chacal (percussion); Briz, Karen Bernod, Myrna Lynn Gomila, Kia Y. Jeffries, Florence Gnimagnon, Charlotte Mbango, Djana'd, Elolongue Mbango Catherine, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (background vocals).
Principally recorded at The Hit Factory, New York; Transamerica Studios, Impressao Digital Studios and Multi Studios Rio De Janiero, Brazil; Studio Guillhaume Tell, Paris, France.
As singer/songwriter Frank Tedesso once put it, GRACELAND is the mountaintop and RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS is the mist around the peak. The latter certainly does seem to pick up where it's South African-flavored predecessor left off. Though RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS relies on the traditional musical forms of a different part of the world (Brazil), Simon uses a somewhat similar strategy. He wraps his very American voice and lyrics around the rhythms and harmonies of a culture much more dependent on polyrhythms. In the process, he creates a new paradigm that is simultaneously familiar and excitingly fresh.
A new development is the undercurrent of social protest in the lyrics, something that GRACELAND only hinted at. A running lyrical theme is the intrusion of science and civilization upon nature, and the catastrophic results. When he finds no solutions in the world of men, Simon turns to the divine. On "The Cool, Cool River," he supplicates himself, with the understanding that "these prayers are the memory of God." However close he may get to heaven, RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS definitely finds Simon treading a step or two north of the earth.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 08/31/18
- Released: 08/31/2018