Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop
Griots are the musicians and storytellers, the ones who keep history alive in song and story. The art of the griot is something that's global, whatever name it goes by. People like Bill Laswell, Philip Glass, and Pharoah S... more »
Griots are the musicians and storytellers, the ones who keep history alive in song and story. The art of the griot is something that's global, whatever name it goes by. People like Bill Laswell, Philip Glass, and Pharoah Sanders recognize that, which is why you'll find them contributing alongside real griots like Foday Musa Suso, founder of the groundbreaking Mandingo Griot Society, a band that worked to break down the barriers between world music and jazz. All of this makes Jali Kunda part travelogue, part entertainment, and part education. Since it's all wrapped up so beautifully, it makes the perfect present. Anyone with good ears and an open mind will thank you. --Chris Nickson
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Relaxing, beautiful, exotic
Keir H. Fogarty | fort collins, colorado United States | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't believe that this got as low a customer review as it did, so I had to put in my two cents worth. this album has some incredible music on it--both the traditional pieces and the modern ones--if your a world music purist then you probably have a love hate relationship with bill laswell--but I love the guy--granted, he may put his touch on a few tracks of every album, but name another guy who has brought more international artists to an american audience--and not all of his tracks are techno--the track done with phillip glass is so beautiful it brings tears to one's eyes--african music is full of heart and passion--the most beautiful human emotions--when they sing, it isn't for money, its because this wide wonderful beautiful tragic place we live fills them so full that they have to sing it out--the instruments are beautiful, the rhythms are beautiful--an album that I listen to routinely"
3.7 stars but I rounded up
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 06/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The strengths of this cd are its traditional tracks. I'm not sure why Bill Laswell felt the need to add the techno touches. They don't work and at points they are almost embarassing. Most particularly during Lanmbasy Dub. This cd is 4 years old and that track is already boring and dated. The collaboration between Foday and Philip Glass is equally uninteresting. Thankfully there are only a couple of these dull "modern" tracks.The majority of this cd is field-recordings of various West African musicians playing their local traditional musics. These tracks are where this cd shines brightly and it never shines more brightly than on the balafon tracks. The balafon is a wood-keyed xylophone with gourd resonators that has a very distinctive and incredibly cool sound. Plus, it's not just the sound of this instrument, it's the people playing it! Absolutely brilliant balafon players on this cd! I would love to hear some great free-jazz musicians utilize one of these balafon players. It would be extremely cool to hear someone like David S. Ware delve into some rootsy, deeply West African-inspired music with one of these guys. Which brings us to another moment on this cd... the one "modern" or "Western collaborative" track that does work.. the duo track with Pharoah Sanders and Foday (track 11). This thing is beautiful. I'm not sure why, but every time I listen to it I think of Sonny Sharrock. Not that it's like his style of playing or music, but something about it always makes me feel as if it is some sort of tribute or goodbye to Sonny. All in all, and Laswell's bonehead electronica decisions aside, this is a great cd. The feeling of village life and spirit is really present. All the recordings were made outside so you not only hear the music, you hear the everyday sounds of life present in the background and between tracks. The main instrumentation is kora, singers, and percussion, although it does vary from track to track. Sometimes it's just singers, sometimes it's balafon and singers, and there are also a couple nyanyer one-string violin tunes. Although I don't know exactly what the nyanyer looks like, it sounds like a rougher or granier version of the njarka one-string violin. Maybe they are more-or-less the exact same instrument and this difference in tone can be solely attributed to a difference in string material. Either way, it will certainly be familiar to any of you who have heard more well-known greats like Afel Bocoum and/or Ali Farka Toure.Definitely a worthy addition to your collection of West African traditional musics."