Mali K7/Cobalt - France
Boubacar "Kar Kar" Traore
Here are two examples of Malian music that couldn't be further apart. Both are from highly respected artists who have received high praise here in the past, both feature roots-oriented arrangements and primarily acoustic backing ensembles. One is priceless, one is at best adequate.
Nahawa Doumbia is a brilliant singer with a soaring set of vocals chords that has enraptured the listener at every turn in the past. In the first minute or two of Yaala, we get a rising expectation of more of that skill and thrill. Then something terrible happens. Some weak kneed French guitarist named Claude Barthelemey chimes in on slide guitar and demolishes the mood with some of the most aimless noodling to hit tape in a generation. No kidding. From here on he insinuates himself into almost every track with ametuerish faux blues, jazz and funk licks. Why, why, why was this necessary? It's such a waste, because her ensemble's performances are shining, her voice is as wonderful as ever, but all the way to the end of this CD you get tripped up by this silliness (if you make the mistake of buying this thing, check the third track for some of the most ridiculous pseudo-Arabic jazz vamping you have ever heard) and a production that makes the journey pointless. Bad things like this should not happen to great artists like Doumbia.
Comment on this music or the web site.
© 2000 RootsWorld. No reproduction of any part of this page or its associated files is permitted without express written permission.