Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

African Rhythms, KFAI 10/25/12

October 25, 2012

A preview of the Tinariwen shows at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, a look at the music of Mali and much more on today’s African Rhythms on KFAI. Streaming now!

Tinariwen, Chad Batka, New York Times


Fatoumata Diawara: Kanou

May 28, 2011

Zani Diabate & The Super Djata Band

April 26, 2009

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

Rokia Traore: Dounia

March 27, 2009

From her current CD, Tchamantché.

Made In Mali by Amadou and Mariam

March 22, 2009


Once again, US music fans wait for the release of new music already available in Europe and elsewhere for months. In this case, the new Amadou and Mariam CD Made In Mali finally has a street date, this Tuesday, March 24. The latest titles by Orchestra Baobab and Rokia Traore were presumably held up to coincide with American tours, so can we assume that’s the case with Amadou and Mariam, only seen in the US very rarely if at all? Yes, but… check the NYT article for more.

Rokia Traore at The Cedar

February 7, 2009

Rokia Traore and her group are making some of the most amazing music on the planet right now.  A new musical direction brings elements of 70s funk rock to her delicate modern take on Malian traditional music. That could have been a recipe for disaster, but on the evidence of her show last night at The Cedar it’s a spectacular success.

The publicity photo here suggests the Rokia of previous records, beautiful, ethereal and restrained. It’s a misdirection because her shows are exuberant, dynamic workouts that are as great as any powerful rock concert you’ve been to but also have the depth of the ages.

African Salute to James Brown

August 30, 2008

It could have been billed the American Salute to James Brown: JB stalwarts Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley were up front and center, with Pee Wee in charge of the proceedings. The funk came hard and strong, with some curveballs thrown in like a lovely Try Me with vocals by Martha High and doo-wop backing by Pee Wee and company. 2 bona fide African stars made it to Minneapolis: Vieux Farka Toure and Chiekh Lo each had a star turn, most spectacularly on This Is A Man’s World with stunning vocals by Lo. It would have been nice to hear more from Lo and Farka Toure, but the music was so strong all night it’s hard to quibble. (Above: Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and Charles McNeil at the Dakota, Minneapolis, August 25, 2008. Photo by Mitchel Anderson.)

Vieux Farka Toure in Bamako

August 13, 2008

Some guitar wizardry by Vieux Farka Toure at home in Bamako, courtesy of Modiba Productions. Vieux Farka Toure is part of the highly anticipated Still Black Still Proud tour (subtitle: The African Tribute To James Brown), put together by Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley from James Brown’s unforgettable seventies ensembles. They’ll be at the Dakota in Minneapolis on August 25, and according to the Dakota website, the great Nigerian drummer Tony Allen will be part of the band, along with the amazing Senegalese singer Cheikh Lo.

Bassekou Kouyate

June 27, 2008

Very cool mini-doc on Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate. Be sure to also take a look at Out Here’s two part (one) (two) electronic press kit put together for the release of Bassekou’s wonderful album, Segu Blue.

Amadou & Mariam

June 21, 2008

Dimanche a Bamako by Amadou et Mariam.