Sunday, February 23, 2014

CD Review: Habib Koite's 'Soo'

Habib Koite

Mali's Habib Koite releases a stunning album, Soo, which means "home,"  that brings to life the music of North Africa and Mali in particular. Habib is the lead vocalist and guitarist on the album, but he is joined by other instruments, including bass, keyboards, calabash, kora, n'goni, doun doun, djembe, banjo, and others. The eleven-track release traverses the Saharan spectrum of musical ingeniousness. The rhythmic tunes combine with Habib's soulful vocals in Bambara, Dogon, Malinke, and Khassonke, to provide a fascinating listening experience overall. The poignant and catchy "L.A." is an excellent example of trans-cultural musical exchange with the banjo taking center stage with Afro-Latin percussive elements to boot. The sounds emanate in a beautiful delivery without fault. Anyone familiar with Habib Koite's previous works will love this new, adventurous release. Fans of Malian contemporary music will be pleased, too. ~ Matthew Forss

No comments: