Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

Gospel-infused Malian rhythms meet experimental western orchhestrals in Ladilikan, a collaboration between griot (storyteller) musicians Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet. The result is a uniquely uplifting combination, merging lesser-known, traditional instrumentals like balafon (xylophone) and bass ngoni (lute), with the kind of playful strings you might find in a deep grooving Salsoul disco track.  This album shows how different styles can enrich each others in magnificent ways, especially when operated by such virtuosos musicians.

Ladilikan, the new album by Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, represents a landmark in cultural cross-fertilisation that both parties rank among the most satisfying musical experiences of their careers. David Harrington, Kronos’ artistic director and founder, enthuses that the album is “one of the most beautiful Kronos has ever done.” On first hearing their griot grooves being played by violins, viola and cello, Trio da Kali’s musical director Fodé Lassana Diabaté said, “This is going to be the best collaboration of my life.”
Da Kali means ‘to give a pledge’ – in this case to a musical heritage that dates back to the time of Sunjata Keita, founder of the great Mali empire in the early 13th century. The line-up of balafon (xylophone) bass ngoni (lute) and female singer is also based on ancient tradition, although the trio format and its repertoire is now an endangered species in contemporary Malian music.




Ace Malian four-piece Songhoy Blues are readying their debut album ‘Music In Exile’. It’ll be out on Transgressive Records and comes preceded by the first single, ‘Al Hassidi Tere’. The album is co-produced by Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner and Marc-Antoine Moreau. The latter discovered the band in 2013 when scouting on behalf of Africa Express – Songhoy Blues later contributed a track to the Africa Express album, ‘Maison des Jeunes’.