Friday, March 29, 2013

CD Review: Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba's 'Jama Ko'

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
Jama Ko
Outhere Records

Mali's ngoni masters, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, bring us another amazing treat, Jama Ko. The ngoni lute, an instrument hailing from Mali, Africa, creates scintillating sounds that are kora-like. This is Afro-pop at its finest. There are featured artists, including Khaira Arby, Zoumana Tereta, Taj Mahal, Kasse Mady Diabate, and Amy Sacko. There are chilling male and female vocals that would win-over fans of Mali music without a doubt. Some of the songs are more upbeat and include organ, drums, and electric guitar. However, the majority of songs are steeped in the rich, cultural history of Malian music traditions in a contemporary format. Overall, the fine list of guests and engaging ngoni blues are something worth listening to. If you get a chance to see the group live, do not miss it. There is a limited, 2-LP release of this title, too. ~ Matthew Forss

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