Mali K7's Yves Wernert took Malian balafonist Souleymane Traore (aka NeBa Solo) back into the studio last year to re-record his first album, Kenedougou Foly. More polished than the initial release, Kene Balafons benefits not only from cleaner production and more bass, but from some outstanding photography of Neba and his band, and hopefully better distribution. Solo's blistering lines have certainly not been diminished, and while there are many fine young balafonists in Mali, he is still the best representative of the so-called "new wave" of modern balafonists. His work is also a model for the emerging fusion artists Wernert is cultivating in Bamako. - Craig Tower
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