Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mali to Memphis
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Blues, World Music, Jazz, Pop
The blues-Mali connection has been much pondered, and Mali to Memphis attempts to illustrate the tie with selections of both Malian artists and American bluesmen (and women). The Malian cuts, especially those from Rokia Tr... more »
The blues-Mali connection has been much pondered, and Mali to Memphis attempts to illustrate the tie with selections of both Malian artists and American bluesmen (and women). The Malian cuts, especially those from Rokia Traore, Boubacar Traore, and Lobi Traore, are the most persuasive, setting up long, monochromatic, loping grooves not dissimilar to John Lee Hooker's, over which are laid some spine-chilling vocals, tinged with the Arabic influences of Islam. Hooker himself, who comes in with an acoustic "I'm in the Mood for Love," is the most obvious U.S. stylistic link. Muddy Waters, Eric Bibb, and Jesse Mae Hemphill also provide interesting comparisons, but some of the other blues choices, nice as they are, aren't as convincing examples of musical similarity. The point is well made that it is within the vocal styles that any cross-cultural pollinations are found, not in the 8-, 10-, 12-, or 16-bar structures that dominate the blues idiom. The blues are a vehicle for stories, emotion, and tradition, and the griots of Mali share the same responsibility, only they are much more deeply embedded in, and fundamental to, the culture of the land, something that oozes out of every note they play. --Derek Rath
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I really love this CD
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 05/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the music of Mali--the home of Timbuktu and some really amazing musicians. Their music and its five-tone scale is supposed to be the roots of the Blues. Though the slave trade was mostly a coastal event (Mali is land-locked), wars in the area resulted in prisoners who ended up on slave ships heading for America. The rich Mali music tradtion may have created our American blues. Here, side by side, Mali musicians play their music with a mix of electric guitar and traditional harp-lute along with cuts by John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. The music is arranged cleverly--you can hear the similarities quite clearly. But aside from being interesting historically, this music is just plain great to hear. The cd has fascinating liner notes, too.I've already played this twice through just out of the box, and I know this is going to be one of my play-all-the-time CD's."
This album is a classic addition to any blues collection.
Joanna Daneman | 02/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Putumayo unveils the connection between Mali and Memphis that was always there but not always sufficiently appreciated. I find myself listening to the almost hypnotic track "Mon Amour, Ma Cherie" over and over. Johnny Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters never sounded better. Absolutely beautiful! Triumph and strength over sadness!"
African Culture Across the Atlantic
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When many westerners think of African music, they expect something exotic, something primitive, something mysterious. Yet for all their expectations, few Americans seem to realize that they are sitting on a goldmine of African traditions. The African musical traditions served to feed what would develop into the traditions of Blues, Jazz, Rap, Reggae, Rock, Gospel, Salsa and the like. And the purpose of this particular CD is to explore the African roots of the Blues.
Like most Putumayo CDs, this one jumps from Mali to the US, back to Mali (and neghboring Guinea), and to the US again. However, this only serves to show the similarities between these two musical traditions. Excellent selections from big namessuch as John Lee Hooker, Habib Koite, Muddy Waers, Taj Mahal, Rokia Traore and Boubacar Traore characterize this CD. The music, whether Mande or southern, always maintains a uniquely Blues feel to it.
And, as an added bonus to Blues fans, this CD really expands the entire genere. Compare John Lee Hooker's "I'm in the Mood" to Taj Mahal's "Queen Bee" and you'll see what I mean."