Sweet and Seck

Dieneba Seck

The Truth [Tigne](
Stern’s Music
STCD1099, 2005)

In this year of 2005 Diénéba Seck releases her fourth solo album – nothing
too strange there you might think, but, considering her first album was way back
in 1991, it’s been a mighty slow process. Worth the wait since her 1999 outing,
though, as she’s been re-united with a musical collaborator from her early
career, one Sekou Kouyaté. Sekou’s band have been a Europe-based outfit for some years and the two
artist’s careers have diverged, with Diénéba spending most of her time in Bamako
and her home town of Kita – Mali’s premier music town. Diénéba is not a
hereditary musician, or jali, her parents were health workers but they spotted a
prodigious early talent and gave their daughter every encouragement with an
artistic career.

Her parents’ dedication and conviction paid off, Diénéba has one of the
finest voices of her generation – in a home market crowded with some of the best
female vocalists in the world – and her popularity & album sales in Mali reflect

This set of twelve self-compositions sparkle in clean and precise
arrangements from guitarist/arranger Kouyaté. 11 tracks feature principally
traditional instruments & percussion in a simple fusion with guitar, bass and
keyboards giving an all-over rootsy feel. The soukou (hunter’s violin) plays off
the looping flute melodies providing bags of atmosphere and Sekou’s ever-cyclic
guitar playing maintains a gentle rhythmic presence. The 8-piece band + 2
backing vocalists keep things cooking throughout, only the over-synthed and
syrupy ballad ‘Tigné’ (The truth), which also happens to be the title track,
stands out as not belonging in an otherwise first-class set of Wassoulou