Adibar (Clermont Music CLE 007CD, 2013)
Malian guitar maestro and vocalist Mamadou Kelly has been around for years and is well known in Mali as a sideman. His reputation as an outrstanding musician led him to work with some Mali’s finest musicians, the late Ali Farka Touré and Afel Bocoum. With his debut album Adibar as a soloist, Mamadou Kelly finally gets well deserved attention.
Although Mamadou Kelly is a guitar virtuoso, he writes engaging bluesy songs with a typically Malian flavor where he and his collaborators have moments to showcase their talent as instrumentalists. Kelly introduces the music of various ethnic groups who live in Mali, the Bambara, Peul, Fulani herdsmen and the northern nomadic Tuareg.
Adibar features Alpha Ousmane “Hama” Sankare, a skilled calabash player who has appeared on many historic recordings, Brehima “Youro” Cisse a master of the njarka (one-string fiddle) and djurkel (a small mandolin-type instrument), and the talented young bassist Baba Traore.
“They are constantly together even when they are not on stage,” says his American manager Christopher Nolan, who is also the U.S. representative for the renowned Festival in the Desert and the producer of the current Caravan for Peace tour. “They really enjoy each other and look out for each other all the time. It’s just like when they play: they are totally in sync as one unit.”
On Adibar, gifted musician Mamadou Kelly presents superb acoustic interplay, infectious Malian rhythms and alluring songs.