BKO Quintet: Bamako Today

As it says in the liner notes, this collection of songs was “recorded in France, somewhere in Cevennes Mountains.” How’s that for keeping the sounds traditional? The two vocalists Fassara Sacko and Nfaly Diakite team up with Ibrahima Sarr/djembe, Abdoulaye Kone/djelingoni, Aymeric Krol/dr and guests Mbaba Sissoko/djelingoni, Piers Faccini/g and Julien raulet/eg for eleven earthy tunes that take you back to the Sahel desert of wide open skies, dusty roads and exotic villages.

Of the two vocalists, Diakite’ has a rougher and earthier sound to his voice while Sacko is a bit clearer and polished. Both go between a melodic sense of talking and out and out declarations, with Sacko delivering some heart rendering words on “Sacred Bird” along with the twin pairs of Malian strings. Diakite goes call and response to a chorus with the galloping “Strange Wassolon” and the guitars provide a gorgeous lilt as they drive across the horizon on “Donsulu.” The mix of melodic percussion and springy strings make for a mix of melody and rhythm, making both coalesce together like a spicy stew.

There’s also an accompanying dvd that gives you a feel of the intimacy of this music, making you feel like you’re part of the village.

Buda Records




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