The master of Malian blues Boubacar Traoré connects with three leading African-American blues and roots music musicians, Cedric Watson, Corey Harris and Leyla McCalla, on Dounia Tabolo. He’s also joined by talented French harmonica player Vincent Bucher who sounds more American than French, and percussionist Alassane Samaké.
The final result is a remarkable recording where the sounds of Mali and the music of the southern United States get together, delivering a superb cross-cultural album.
The lineup on the album includes Boubacar Traoré on lead vocals and guitar; Vincent Bucher on harmonica; Alassane Samaké on calabash, shaker and percussion. Guests: Cedric Watson on fiddle and washboard; Corey Harris on guitar and vocals; and Leyla McCalla on cello and vocals.
Dounia Tabolo is a wonderful mix of Malian rhythms and melodies with the sounds of the Mississippi Delta along with the unexpected sound of Leyla McCalla’s beautiful cello.
Leila Gobi – 2017 (Clermont Music CLE 019CD, 2017)
Eastern Malian vocalist Leila Gobi has recorded her second album titled 2017, scheduled for release October 6, 2017. On 2017, Gobi presents an exciting mix of her magnetic high-pitched vocals, hypnotic electronic beats and the fabulous guitar lines of Khalil M. Touré.
The lineup includes Leila Walet Gobi on vocals; Khalil M. Touré on guitars; Amadou Dembélé on bass; and Abdourhamane Salaha on calabash, conga, and other percussion instruments.
Ladilikan (World Circuit), a collaboration between Malian act Trio Da Kali and acclaimed American string ensemble Kronos Quartet is the number album of the Transglobal World Music Chart in September 2017.
Trio Da Kali includes some of the finest musicians in Mali: vocalist Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, bala master Lassana Diabaté (of AfroCubism) and bass ngoni vistuoso Mamadou Kouyaté (son of Bassekou Kouyaté).
David Harrington (of Kronos Quartet) described the recording as “one of the most beautiful collaborations Kronos has had in our first 40 years.”
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.
Rising Malian world music act Trio Da Kali and the renowned Kronos Quartet have recorded a superb single titled ‘Eh Ya Ye’. This song will appear on Trio Da Kali’s upcoming album ‘Ladilikan’ scheduled for release on September 15, 2017.
The video was made in Casamance (Senegal) and includes dancers Amadou Kande, Cheikh Omar Preira, Souleymane Diallo and Mamadou Drame.
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.
Malian band Songhoy Blues is set to release its to release its second album ‘Résistance’ (Transgressive Records) in June. The recording features guest appearances from Iggy Pop, Elf Kid, and Stealing Sheep.
Résistance’ also includes string sections and a children’s choir.
Too often when we hear “it must be something in the blood” it conjures up images of someone gone wrong somewhere, but nothing could be further from that kind of assumption when we’re talking about Mali’s Vieux Farka Toure.
Son of the musical powerhouse Ali Farka Toure, Vieux Farka Toure has not just continued in his father’s musical footsteps but blazed a path of his own with recordings like Vieux Farka Toure, Fondo, The Secret, Mon Pays and Touristes with Julia Easterlin and an ongoing collaboration with Israeli musician Idan Raichel on the Toure-Raichel Collective. And the righteous riffs just keep coming with the Six Degrees Records release of his latest of Samba.
Mr. Toure is just content to rest on his vocals and guitar playing laurels on Samba; instead he composed and arranged all the tracks and produced this latest with co-producer Eric Herman. Mr. Toure explains the recording process of Samba, “It was not a regular studio session nor was it a concert. It was somewhere in between. We were recording the album, but we had an audience of about fifty people in the room with us. The audience understood it was to witness the process of recording an album, not to present a concert in a studio, which was a very good thing because we got the energy of a live concert with the quality of a studio recording.”
Rich, warm and rewarding, Samba pulls at the threads of desert blues, funk, reggae, rock and Malian praise song to create a polished, masterful collection of tracks. From the opening of the guitar lick laced “Bonheur” through to the deliciously catchy “Ni Negaba,” Mr. Toure lets his listeners ride a wave of hypnotic grooves while using his musical voice to express the joys of family, the importance of protecting the environment and the pitfalls of religious fanaticism in the wake of Mali’s recent struggles with jihadism where music was banned and musicians were abused or exiled.
Backed by such musicians as drummer Mamadou Kone, calabash player Soulemane Kane, ngoni players Maffa Diabate and Abdoulaye Kone, bassists Marshall Henry, Eric Herman and Checikmare Ba, shaker and kourignans player Tim Keiper and organist and keyboardist Rob Cohen, Mr. Toure gives listeners a delicious ride on sizzling tracks like “Ba Kaitere” and “Homafu Wawa,” and doles out delectable treats like the guitar and ngoni enfused “Samba Si Kairi” and the cool grooves of “Nature.” Fans get a dose of guest keyboardist Idan Raichel on the track “Mariam,” a track dedicated to Mr. Toure’s little sister, and the delightfully elegant track “Maya.”
Despite some doubts about the success of Samba, Mr. Toure says of the experience, “It was an interesting idea but I did not know how it would go. Luckily everything was perfect. There was a great ambience there for the session and we were able to capture this unique energy for the album.”
Mr. Toure has certainly blazed his own path on Mali’s musical griot road of riches with Samba. Must be something in the blood.