I always approach new-world/old-world West African albums with care, but on this one things come together nicely. The opening track that we’ll hear today, Den Woulou Lalou, features Corey Harris‘ slide guitar blending well with the n’goni and a riddim feel riding well with the Malian griot sound. The results are very listenable and make a great start to my mid-week morning.
Cheick Hamala Diabate lives in Washington DC but has some big-time musical genes cred: he’s Toumani Diabate‘s first cousin and Djelimady Tounkara‘s nephew. On this release he teamed up with Corey Harris, some members of Chopteeth and others to produce a distinctly Malian-sounding album with tasteful hints of other influences.
I haven’t been back to Mali since that amazing road trip several years ago and I haven’t been back to DC in even longer.. but hey, I’ll play it like Diabate and stick to what I like from a distance for now.
Speaking of which, many upcoming shows and trips in the mix. August is pretty dead in Paris (in a good way if you ask me) but July and September are chock-a-block with great live African music concerts. Let me know if you’re around for any of these:
Staff Benda Bilili, Konomo No.1 and the Kasai All-Stars on July 15th; Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80, Amadou & Mariam and Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou on September 1st; Hank Jones & Cheick Tidiane Seck, Mahmoud Ahmed and Alémayèhu Eshèté on September 12th.
And if you know anything about the music scenes in Australia or Borneo…
Cheick Hamala Diabate’s latest release, Ake Doni Doni (Take It Slow) will be out on August 11th, 2009, on Grigri Discs.blues, mali, usa