Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CD Review: Kasse Mady Diabate's 'Kirike'

Kasse Mady Diabate
Six Degrees Records

Mali's heralded griot, Kasse Mady Diabate, comes from a very musical region of West Africa and possesses a lengthy musical resume working with the Orchestre Regional Super Mande de Kangaba, Ibrahima Sylla, Ketama, Toumani Diabate, and Taj Mahal. Kasse Mady sings in Bambara--the primary language of southern Mali. For nearly five decades, Kasse Mady has been creating music with griot praise-songs and rootsy folk idioms without resorting to shiny pop confections. Kasse Mady is joined by Makan Badje Tounkara on ngoni, Lansine Kouyate on balafon, Ballake Sissoko on kora, and Vincent Segal on cello. The entire group creates a chamber-like musical result that is poignant and intimate. At times, the instruments take turns rattling listeners into a frenzy, but in a rather reserved manner. This is a very mature recording showing great depth and knowledge of griot music and world fusion. Anyone into West African music should acquire Kirike. ~ Matthew Forss

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