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genre: Genres Mande music

  • review November 4, 2014

    River Strings: Maninka Guitar

    In the past, when the great guitarists of West Africa have made solo albums, they’ve tended to inspire listener complaint along the lines of Frank Zappa’s memorable line:  “Shut up ‘n play yer guitar.” Specifically, the prominence of vocalists on … Read more »

  • review September 12, 2014

    Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako

    The central irony of Salif Keita’s early career is how a noble—a descendant of the Mande Empire’s founder Sunjata Keita, yet—could assume the profile of a griot, a musical orator of a distinctly lower social status. When Keita arrived on … Read more »

  • review July 17, 2014

    New Music From Mande America: “Benyoro” and “The Great Peace”

    The U.S. continues to produce bands composed of West Africans and Americans performing electric music at ever mounting levels of proficiency and musicality. Two particularly impressive examples—Benyoro out of New York City, and Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba out of … Read more »

  • blog February 27, 2014

    Trio Da Kali: The New Face of Mande Music from Mali

    Lassana Diabate (Eyre 2014) Fans of African music everywhere know well the astounding prominence of Mande griot music in the continent’s musical pantheon. Even leaving aside all Mali’s desert blues and rich pentatonic music traditions, if we look at just … Read more »

  • review February 27, 2013

    The Griot’s Craft

    It has been awhile since we’ve heard new work from Sékouba Bambino (Diabaté), veteran singer of Guinea’s legendary Bembeya Jazz, and probably the pre-eminent Guinean vocalist of the past two decades. This session, featuring a rich blend of acoustic instruments … Read more »

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