Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CD Review: Ballake Sissoko's 'At Peace'

At Peace
No Format/Six Degrees Records
Mali’s kora master, Ballake Sissoko, once again joins with cellist Vincent Segal on an addictive, nine-track release that is aptly-titled, At Peace. The soothing, melodious echoes of the kora, gentle guitar picking, classical cello, and harmonious balafon make At Peace a required listen for fans of Malian music, world fusion, classical, and instrumental music. The album is void of vocals, which accentuates the instrumental prowess from Vincent, Ballake, Fassery Diabate, Aboubacar Diabate, and Moussa Diabate. The scintillating sounds of the kora provide a relaxing, though somewhat jaunty, musical result. The instrumental exchanges between Vincent and Ballake are very fluid and seamless—the result of joint African and European connections over hundreds of years. Fans of Malian fusion will love the rustic nature of the compositions, though they are recorded with very high quality equipment. ~ Matthew Forss

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