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An early venture into World Music, this was part of a suite of songs known as "The African Trilogy." Diamond studied African culture at the Kenyon Mission, the United Nations and the African Studies department at UCLA. "Soolaimon" can mean "hello," "welcome," "good-bye" and "peace be with you."
The African Trilogy was arranged by the Jazz musician Marty Paich.
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Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.