Sunday, May 17, 2009

CD Review: Mauritanian Blues

Fuuta Blues

The border between Mauritania and Senegal is rich in history, music, and traditions. It is also home to Boolumbal band leader, singer, and guitarist, Malick Dia. Malick teamed up with French musician and producer of blues music in Paris, and in the process, created a stunning album of Senegal River blues. To be more exact, Fuuta Blues contains earthy tunes and vocals in the Pulaar language. Musically, there are resemblances to Guinea-Bissau's Bidinte, Mauritania's Daby Toure, Senegal's Vieux Diop, and Mali's most recognizable export--the late-Ali Farka Toure. There is a nice mix of traditional instruments, including the ngoni, kora, balafon, Peul flute, djembe, and shakers. The more modern strings, piano, and guitar are not as prevalent. Fuuta Blues is an album unique to Mauritania and the Francophone musical genre. It is steeped in traditional instrumentation and simple, catchy vocals. Liner notes are in English and French. Take a trip down the Senegal River with Boolumbal. ~ Matthew Forss

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