Djerelon means “remember your roots’ in Malinke. On his latest recording, kora master
Prince Diabaté avoids global fusion creating,
instead, a different sound that is entirely his own. This independently-produced album, his first in five years, marks a return to his Manding roots.
Recorded in Conakry in January 2006,Djerelon
contains 4 traditional and 7 original compositions. Led by Prince Diabaté on kora, kamelen n’goni and vocals, the recording features a wide range
of traditional instruments, including: one-stringed Fulani violin (gne gne rou); Malinke and Fulani flutes; Susu thumb piano (gongoman) and Malinke and Susu contra-bass (bolon).
This semi-acoustic album is arranged and produced by Kante Manfila, longtime collaborator of Salif Keita, who also plays acoustic guitar, along with 3 of his brothers.
In keeping with Prince Diabaté’s desire to unearth and re-introduce some of the older musical forms, the musicians were carefully selected to represent the full spectrum of Guinean musical artistry.
The recording includes older, master musicians, performing alongside the younger
talents. The most traditional track on the album, Fulbe Fouta, which celebrates the Fulani people of Fouta. Djerelon includes a guest appearance by El Hadj Modjere Bah, an 83 year old orator.
There is also a touching tribute to a great Susu composer called Laplaya, who died in poverty, his music unrecorded, his talent forgotten.