Thursday, June 28, 2012

CD Review: Andra Kouyate and Seke Chi's 'Saro'

Andra Kouyate and Seke Chi
Studio Mali

With a name like Kouyate, you know the music is going to be good. Hailing from Mali, Andra Kouyate and his band, Seke Chi, are joined by a plethora of top artists from the region, including Amadou & Mariam, Mah Bara Soumano, Bassekou Kouyate, Ami Sacko, Harouna Samake, and Lassana Diabate. Andra's specialty is the n'goni lute, which is a staple in North African folk music. The acoustic and earthy feel of the instrument is matched with the varied vocals. Overall, the tunes are laid-back and take on the characteristics of Ali Farka Toure's instrumental music, as well as Rokia Traore's instrumental repertoire. The n'goni instrumentation, balafon, calabash, and other infectious instruments are very easy to listen to. This is a contemporary release, but the guitars, and other typical rock elements are nowhere to be found. Fans of North African percussion, Malian music, and n'goni lute aficionados will love Andra's latest venture. ~ Matthew Forss

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