Sunday, March 6, 2011

CD Review: Abdoulaye Traore & Mohamed Diaby's 'Debademba'


The France-based duo of Burkina Faso-native and guitarist Abdoulaye Traore with Ivory Coast-singer Mohamed Diaby present Debademba (Big Family) as an astounding release of African blues, fusion, Andalusian rhythms, and Afro-Latin influences. The duo is joined by other singers, including Awa and Fatou Diawarra. The fusion-rhythms of "Agnakamina" seems to include some slight South Asian moods, while the fast percussion and fluid flutes on "Ma cherie" display the virtuosity of the performers. The cheery, blues-driven "Toulamanga" and "Loundotemena" evoke the spirit of Ali Farka Toure and other names in West African guitar music. "Kiefali (Guerrier)" is a classic, folksy and bluesy kind of song perfect for listening to on a road trip in a Land Rover from point A to point B. The final song, "Thomas Sankara", is a salsa-type tune named after the former revolutionary and president of Burkina Faso of the same name. Though mostly instrumentally-driven, Debademba is still vocally strong and an enjoyable listening experience. Fans of Afro-Latin music, salsa, guitar, blues, folk, fusion, and Afro-Franco projects should include Traore & Diaby in their music library. ~ Matthew Forss

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