Mamadou Diabate’s Percussion Mania
Kanuya (Extraplatte EX920-2, 2011)
Kanuya (friendship, esteem and respect) is a thrilling album of modern West African centered around the balafon. The Mamadou Diabate in this case if the balafon maestro from Burkina Faso, not the kora player from Mali.
Mamadou Diabate puts a fabulous live show and this album is just as good. Most of the album features the core band: Mamadou Diabate on balafon, jembe, lunga, dundun, and vocals; Abdoulaye Dembele on dunduns, ngoni; Seydou Diabate on balafon; Yacouba Konate on balafon, Madou Kote (from Farafina) on jembe, Zakaria Kone on jembe and kora; and Karim Sanou on jembe, calabash, vocal.
Kanuya makes the percussion album even more exciting with a large number of guests, including Studio Percussion Graz and several Austrian and Latin American musicians who add jazz, Afro-Cuban and even Austrian popular music (in the form of a tuba) to parts of the album. “On this CD I present my most beautiful experiences and musical discoveries in the past few years,” says Mamadou Diabate.
The CD booklet in English, German and French contains fascinating details about the various musical pieces. Korolenko is perhaps the most interesting. It tells the origin of the balafon, which was a gift from the bush spirits.
The album ends with an outstanding percussion fest bringing together balafons, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone and drums.
Mamadou Diabate`s Percussion Mania has put together a superb percussion experience that combines the best of traditional music from West Africa with modern elements and world music influences.