Zani Diabate & The Super Djata Band

The music from contemporary Mali is justly celebrated for its immediacy, intricacy and power. Check out recent releases by Rokia Traore, Oumou Sangare, Amadou & Mariam, Tinariwen, and Toumani Diabate for rich evidence. All these modern stars come from long traditions that are thankfully being kept alive. Recordings of previous generations still exist, not yet lost to the sands of time. One of Mali’s most electrifying performers of recent decades past was the guitarist Zani Diabate who led the amazing Super Djata Band. I found his Mango LP, Super Djata, in a used album bin somewhere in town a few years back and it ranks as one of my best musical discoveries. The guy was simply one of the hottest guitar players ever yet is more or less forgotten today. There appear to be at least 7 or 8 other Djata Band albums in existence, mostly French pressings, all from the early to mid 80s. Later, there was a superb cassette called Ni Zani Mana from 1991. After that, silence…

The clip above is Djegnogo Djougou from a concert in France in 1984.

Discography of Malian music

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