Sunday, July 1, 2012

CD Review: Mamady Keita's 'Mandeng Djara'

Mamady Keita
Mandeng Djara
Fonti Musicali

Guinea's Mamady Keita releases a Guinean-recorded album of percussive ingeniousness. The eleven tracks explore severall different, but related Guinean dance rhythms, including Fe, Fartalen, Kelu, Dunun Kura, Su, Koro, Kenya, Zaouli, Kedju, Kalah, and Djara. The music contains the instruments of the djembe, balafon, flute, kora, sangban, dununba, djabara, and kenkeni. The entire album runs nearly seventy-seventy minutes long, so there are no shortage of dance rhythms here. There are also various chants that accompany some of the songs, but they are not particularly overt. Mamady's wife, Monette Marino Keita, an acclaimed and award-winning percussionist in her own right, lends her hands on the drums for a few tracks. Fans of Guinean percussion music will especially enjoy Mandeng Djara. ~ Matthew Forss

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