My expectations are high as the two musical traditions I love most are to be played here tonight by jazz chanteuse Dee Dee Bridgewater and the collection of Malian stars she has assembledRead more "Dee Bridgewater – Barbican, London (Live Review)"
Bassekou Kouyaté is better known as the ngoni player on seminal recordings by Toumani Diabaté and Ali Farka Touré. Segu Blue is his assured, elegant and long overdue debutRead more "Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba – Segu Blue"
A few years ago a group of hoteliers got together in the pleasant but unremarkable stopover of Segou along the banks of the Niger river to work out how to get people to stay for a while in their town. Thus the Festival sur le Niger was born and this year it burst its banksRead more "Festival sur le Niger – Dancing through the Tears"
Catching Ba Cissoko’s band on stage is like watching African lightning bottled in front of you. The aching beauty of the acoustic kora, the thrill of an electrified kora and the cross currents of tradition and modernity in west African music meeting in one band. The whole — as dazzling as it is — feels […]Read more "Ba Cissoko – Visitors from Electric Griot Land"
Global music culture’s answer to Franz Ferdinand, Zuba deliver a warm and compelling sound forged in the crucible of Glasgow but composed of elements from around the world on this double A-side single taken from their debut album ZubaRead more "Zuba – ‘Allez Allez!’ / ‘Kuwa’"
From the first few, sharply beautiful notes of this exquisite pairing, it is already clear that this album will be one of the key records of the year. Ali Farka Touré’s guitar and Toumani Diabaté’s Kora emit a phenomenal series of notes that interlock with each other like two intricate cogs in some otherworldly machine.Read more "Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate – In the Heart of the Moon"
He claims that making one of the biggest hits of recent times, ‘Yéké Yéké’, credited with blowing open the ethnic dance fusion flood gates, was the kind of happy accident that only the major record labels could conspire to do. All that is in the past though as we catch up with Mory Kante, modern-day […]Read more "Mory Kante – The Reluctant World Star"