Malian vocalist and advocate Oumou Sangaré is the winner of the WOMEX 2017 Artist Award. The acclaimed singer will perform as part of the Showcase Festival and Professionals’ Meeting in Katowice, Poland this October.
“This award is for all African women and people from all of Africa. They are the ones who have encouraged me to keep singing and writing songs. I am so glad and honored to receive this award from WOMEX, one of the festivals that always believed in my music, and this is really the icing on the cake of my career. Thank you!” Oumou Sangaré, August 2017
The award honors Oumou Sangaré’s dedication to activism and advocacy for the underprivileged in Mali and abroad, her innovative changes to Wassulu music and her longevity as an internationally-cherished star.
After nearly 10 years since she recorded her last album, the great world music star Oumou Sangaré has a new album titled Mogoya. Oumou is Mali’s finest female and a leading figure in African and world music. She’s also a songwriter who writes most of her material.
Mogoya is a fabulous recording that combines Malian tradition with western trip hop modernity along with some good humor.
Oumou invited trailblazing Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, one of the pioneers of Afrobeat, who adds his memorable signature drum style on “Yere Faga,” a song that provides support to individuals suffering from depression.
The lineup includes Oumou Sangaré on vocals; Toni Allen on drums; Kandy Guira on backing vocals; Guimba Kouyaté on guitar; Benogo Diakité on kamele ngoni; and French production collective A.L.B.E.R.T. (Vincent Taurelle, Ludovic Bruni and Vincent Taeger), who added cutting edge electronic keyboards and other instruments tastefully.
Mogoya is an excellent, beautifully-crafted album by Oumou Sangaré, one of the greatest vocalists in Africa. It was well worth the wait.
Mogoya (Nø Førmat), the new recording by Malian world music star Oumou Sangaré is the number 1 album this month at the Transglobal World Music Chart.
Oumou Sangaré combines tradition with modernity by using Malian instruments such as the kamele n’goni (harp), karignan (metal scraper) and calabash mixed with electric guitar, bass, keyboards and synthesizres. Afrobeat legend, drummer Tony Allen is one of the guests featured in Mogoya.
Fabrizio Cassol – Strange Fruit (Outhere Music/Instinct Collection, 2017)
Strange Fruit is a cross-genre project developed by Belgian saxophonist and composer Fabrizio Cassol, who has a background in classical and jazz music. Strange Fruit, however, is definitely much closer to world music. The album features one of the stars of Malian music, Oumou Sangare, as well as other well-known vocalists.
Throughout Strange Fruit, Fabrizio Cassol and his collaborators travel through various musical genres. The album opens with a fabulous rhythmic piece titled” Didadi Horns” featuring the vocals and spectacular tamani (talking drums) of Baba Sissoko and the equally remarkable sound of the soku one-string Wassulu fiddle. This piece also features electric guitar and bass along with a powerful jazz brass section that brings it close to Afrobeat.
Oumou Sangare appears on track 2, “Soukora” joined by La Choraline Choir, superb ethereal electric guitar by Manu Codjia, Babao Sissoko’s ngoni along with Fabrizio Cassol’s reverberating saxophone and more of the soku fiddle.
The pace changes drastically on track 3, “Strange Fruit,” featuring soprano Claron McFadden accompanied by Eric Legnini on piano. It has an African American spiritual flavor.
Another unexpected turn appears on track 4, “Strange Fruits,” that features La Choraline Choir mixing Bach and Billy Holiday. On “Strange Fruits,” classical, jazz, and Malian sounds come together. Electric bassist Michel Hatzigeorgiou gets an opportunity to showcase his talent on this track.
Track 5, “If Jesus” has a folk-blues feel. It features American soprano Melissa Givens accompanied by Hammond organ and an electric band.
“I Can’t Sleep Tonight” features the soulful vocals of Marie Daulne (Zap Mama) along with La Choraline Choir. This song has some of the finest vocal interactions in the album.
The spiritual side of the album return on “Sehet Jesus”, track 7, featuring a jazz combo accompanying the remarkable vocals of Claron McFadden.
Oumou Sangare’s unmistakable vocals return on track 8, “On Les enfants de la rue” , a funk jazz piece that also features La Choraline.
Track 9, “Choeurs Pygmees” is a great a cappella vocal piece partially inspired by pygmy vocals, featuring remarkable interplay between Marie Daulne and Kezia Daulne along with La Choraline.
“Some Days: (track 10) is the longest composition on the album. This jazz song features Belgian male vocalist David Linx and Claron McFadden. Near the end, this piece turns quite adventurous venturing into exciting jazz-rock territory.
With track 11, “Farka” the album’s vibe turns back to world music led by Diely Moussa Kouyaté’s beautiful guitar, Magic Malik’s flute and Baba Sissoko’s vocals supported by a meaty brass section.
The album concludes with a laid back acoustic Malian piece featuring Diely Moussa Kouyaté’s acoustic guitar and something that sounds like a kora although it doesn’t appear in the credits.
This album came out originally on the Blue Note label in 2012.
Strange Fruit is an impressive, beautifully-arranged album that brings together a multi-ethnic cast of talented jazz, classical, spiritual and world music artists.
World Circuit Records has released the classic album ‘Moussolou‘ by Malian world music star Oumou Sangaré.
Originally released by World Circuit in 1991 the critically acclaimed album has been re-issued on deluxe 180 gram heavyweight vinyl together with a beautiful 10 page booklet and download card. The CD is enclosed in a ‘hardback’ style case with a 32 page booklet.
In February 1989 Oumou Sangaré, a twenty one year old singer from Bamako, Mali, travelled to the JBZ studio in Abidjan, Ivory Coast to record her debut cassette. The album came out the following year and caused a sensation, selling hundreds of thousands of copies.
Oumou will be touring as part of the Les Amazones D’afrique tour this summer:
June 29, 2016 – Festival Métis – Saint-Denis
August 5, 2016 – Festival du Bout du Monde – Brest
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