Delicately-crafted Contemporary and Traditional Visions of the Kora

Dawda Jobarteh – I Met Her By The River (Sterns Africa, 2019)

Denmark-based Gambian kora maestro Dawda Jobarteh showcases the many faces of the kora and his multidimensional influences on I Met Her By The River. The album includes delightful original and traditional solo kora pieces such as “I Met Her By The River”and “Karang Folo”.

On the song “Begging Boys”, Jobarteh decries a certain type of Quranic school found throughout Gambia and Senegal where part of the daily occupation is to beg on the streets. The boys are found dirty, hungry and with worn-out clothes.

Another side of Jobarteh is showcased through modern, charming ensemble pieces with lead kora, bass and West African and global percussion.

Jobarteh provides a tribute to Denmark by transforming “Jeg Gik Mig U Den Sommerdag” (“I Went Out On A Summer’s Day”), a well-known Scandinavian melody into a lovely tune with skillfully-crafted kora overdubs and cymbals.


Dawda Jobarteh – I Met Her By The River

There is also a cutting edge electric kora version of Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue,” bringing together jazz fusion, Afro-Cuban and Gambian music.  

The lineup includes Dawda Jobarteh on electric and traditional koras and vocals; Souleymane Faye on vocals; Preben Carlsen on bass; Jacob Andersen on percussion; Salieu Dibba on percussion; and Stefan Pasborn on drums.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.
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