Search - Habib Koite, Bamada :: Ma Ya

Ma Ya
Habib Koite, Bamada
Ma Ya
Genres: World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Malian singer Habib Koite and his band Bamada serve up 12 songs with a gentle acoustic guitar-led swing, reminiscent as much of African troubadours like Henri Dikongue as his well-known native counterparts like Salif Keita...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Habib Koite, Bamada
Title: Ma Ya
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Putumayo World Music
Original Release Date: 1/26/1999
Release Date: 1/26/1999
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Ma Ya
UPCs: 790248014623, 724384560423, 7619942030322, 790248014647

Malian singer Habib Koite and his band Bamada serve up 12 songs with a gentle acoustic guitar-led swing, reminiscent as much of African troubadours like Henri Dikongue as his well-known native counterparts like Salif Keita. There is certainly a definite Malian lilt to his delivery as well as in the instrumentation and straightforward arrangements, and at times he displays the same bluesy penchant as Ali Farka Toure, albeit less stridently. Koite tilts toward a very contemporary, almost Western interpretation of his spiritual songs, with an overall folksiness softening the unmistakable African roots of his music. The result is a highly textured airy excursion that makes, with his dusty, soulful vocals, a highly appealing album of great introspective sincerity. --Derek Rath

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CD Reviews

Utterly Masterful Music
Christopher Fung | honolulu | 12/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Habib Koite is the undisputed master musician of modern West African music. This is of course a value judgement, but no other contemporary performer has come so close to capturing the essence of classical instrumental musical of the Manding people alongside an undeniably accessible sensibility for Western melodic structure. By paring down the sound of his band, and using traditional arrangements, he has produced a smooth, warm sound that grooves like a python or a leopard out for a stroll. Simply put, Habib tears it up!While a former generation of West African stars (notably Youssou N'Dour from Senegal and greats such as Salif Keita and Oumou Sangare from Mali)have approached popular music from a vocal standpoint, Habib (perhaps in a similar fashion to Ali Farka Toure) has chosen to emphasize the instrumental approach and in particular the tradition of plucked stringed instruments such as the guitar-like ngoni and the 21-string kora. What seperates his music from more traditional offerings is the finesse of the arrangements (from a western musical perspective) which sacrifices none of the dynamic and rhythmic force of traditional Manding music but yet also enables a wonderfully coherent and supple melodic structure to emerge from the music. In this, he is aided by the other musicians of Bamada (virtuoso side men all), who contribute solos, riffs and solid support in an explicitly jazz-band fashion. One consequence of this is that Habib's live concerts follow a very jazz-like format with thematic statements, choruses, individual solos and corresponding applause from the audience. As an avowed traditionalist, my own personal favorites occur when sparse but judiciously placed rhythmic motifs punctuate the wonderful flow of the music. Check the tracks when the drummer switches from kit to playing a huge gourd with sticks. Beautiful.Trained as a western classical guitarist in addition to his undoubted expertise in several of the musical traditions of Mali, Habib positions his own music as a fusion of different musical forms. This has enabled him to develop a wonderful balance between rhythm, melody and harmony that has none of the overpowering sonic waves of performers like King Sunny Ade or Youssou. The wonderful understated arrangements also recall traditional griot music and the Fulani guitar traditions which Ali Farka Toure introduced to western audiences.I must completely agree with every one of the previous reviewers, this is a must-buy album. As an artist, a musician and an arranger, Habib ranks with Miles, Dizzy and Nina Simone. Give it up!"
I Loved It
Joanneva12a | USA | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am new to Habib Koite's music but now I am hooked. From the first times I listened it just made me feel good like sitting in a big oversized comfortable couch. I can't understand the lyrics but the music and his voice carry me off somewhere to another place and time. His voice ripples over the smooth acoustics and laid back rhythms consisting of a blend of blues, jazz and Malian melodies. A Putumayo collaboration, the engineering acoustics on this CD are first rate."
Joanneva12a | 04/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the interest of full disclosure, I only discovered this artist while watching an A&E adaption of William Boyd's book, Armadillo. I spent the entire movie wondering where did the wonderful music come from and later discovered Habib Koite on a list of music from the music.
I immediately bought the disk and think it is outstanding. It flows extremely well, is interesting without being instrusive and I will probably be listening to it for years to come.
I highly recommend it to anyone who likes unusual music, or just wants to get into modern African music. 5 big stars."