Friday, November 26, 2010

CD Review: Madou Sidiki Diabate, Ahmed Fofana, & Alex Wilson in 'Mali Latino'

Mali Latino

World-pianist, Alex Wilson, joins fellow Mali-countrymen, Madou Sidiki Diabate and Ahmed Fofana on a musical project that was in dire straits of a financial setback. However, with a little effort, the financial situation reversed itself and Mali Latino is now a realized project that bridges the connection between African and Latin rhythms, instruments, and beats. The highly-danceable "Donkan" is a rousing Afro-Latin piece with piano, brass, kora, percussion, and everything good. The young Malian vocalist, Aoua Kasse Mady Diabate and Italian Davide Giovanni, lend their talents on an infectious "Sangre Mandinga". The jazzy grooves of "Ankaben" is led by vocalist Soumaila Kanoute, as Madou's sparkling kora melodies nicely accompany Alex's piano. The serenity of "Voyage" is completely void of vocals and the focus is entirely on the instruments. Overall, the recording is not bogged down by excessive or aggressive vocals. This allows the musical instruments and melodies to really stand out. Mali Latino is a favorite for fans with any interest in Afro-Latin connections. ~ Matthew Forss

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