Field Recordings from Mali! (Oumar Konate, Noura Mint Seymali and more) Podcast 237

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This is a remaster of a broadcast I did in 2012 when I had just returned from almost a month in Mali making field and studio recordings. Very special stuff:

Here’s the original intro:

I’m back from the Sahara, and, as promised, have a ton of recordings to share with you.  This special show was originally broadcast on WKCR on 89.9 FM-NY and features rough mixes of studio recordings with up and coming guitarist and pop star Oumar Konate, Griot Royalty Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania recording exclusively for us in her flat in Timbuktu, artists from Niger informally jamming in their tents and the Festival Au Desert and much, much more. We’ll hear this Takamba band in the photo above- they use a car battery and a PA and the flute ends up sounding just like Jimi Hendrix…

 

 

Raja Kassis, Human Being Podcast 114

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db882c3277db27a3-1897940_10152332007126979_1273539798_n-e14083881846341-1After a smoking live set last night from Foday Musa Suso, the great guitarist Raja Kassis came into WKCR with his smokin’ new album Human Being.  Raja is known for his work with Blitz the Ambassador, Damian Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Seun Kuti, Antibalas and many others.

We conclude the broadcast with  a track from Edwin Quirk’s new  Fractal Caravan album.

 

Oumar Konate brings the electric sounds of Timbuktu to NYC – Podcast 51

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Oumar Konate and Dramane Toure

Oumar Konate performs live at the WKCR studio joined by guitarist Dramane Toure, bassist Mohamed Ag Mohamed, and percussionist Mahalmadane Abbanassane.  We were lucky to catch these gentlemen on their way to perform at Lincoln Center.  Earlier in the summer they had been touring and recording  with Tibuktu’s Khaira Arby, the “Nightingale of the North.”

Like Abdoulaye Alhassane of Podcast 49, Oumar was born in Gao in Northern Mali an area where all music has been silenced by extremists this year, we’ll hear an interview with him about that along with his manager, the producer and music critic, Christopher Nolan.   For more music recorded by Oumar check out Podcast 19.

Abdoulaye Alhassane plays the music of the Sahara Desert live – Podcast 49

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Abdoulaye Alhassane performs live with Deep Sahara at WKCR in 2010.  w/ Yacouba Diabate (Kora) Frederika Krier (Violin) and David Ellenbogen (guitar)

By Banning Eyre | April, 2007 [guitar player mg]
Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure has brought string-picking wizardry from the desert towns of West Africa to the nightclubs of New York City. Born in 1963, in Niamey, Niger, to a Sonrai family from Gao, Mali, he passed his youth in a multi-ethnic neighborhood surrounded by Peul, Bambara, Sonrai, and other peoples, and as he put it, “They all played music.” Local radio filled his ears with the sinuous, bluesy strains of desert folklore and the melodious bombast of Mande griots. When his parents returned to Mali, Toure recalled, “They came back with cassettes by Ibrahim Hamma Dicko, Fissa Maiga, and Ali Farka Toure, who sang in a language we understood, and I was incredibly inspired by the originality of this music.” Toure’s musical gift became obvious when he started hanging out in the Niamey nightclub where his uncle, Johnny Ali Maiga, led a band.
“Johnny Ali Maiga played folklore, like Ali Farka Toure,” said Toure, “But he also loved rock. His group was on the radio in Niamey, and it sounded like the Malian music I was listening to at home, but sung in Zerma, the national language of Niger.”
By the early ’80s, Toure was playing guitar and flute, and his first band incorporated electric guitar, bass, drums, and brass, and merged regional folk styles with international pop. When the group took first prize in a national competition, Toure became a full-time musician. By the late ’80s, he was leading Super Kassey—the first Niamey band to travel abroad and record in a modern studio.
Before long, Toure was working as a guitar instructor at the European-run Center for the Education and Promotion of Music. In 1992, Toure teamed up with singer/flutist Yacouba Moumouni to create Niger’s most successful roots pop band to date, Mamar Kassey. Mamar Kassey’s two electrifying CDs, Denke Denke (1999) and Alatoumi (2000) showcase Toure’s guitar mastery and formidable arranging skills. The music is rooted in tradition, but molded into brisk arrangements that include key modulations and bursts of solo improvisation.
“Improvisation existed in Sonrai music,” explained Toure, “but in another form. In our ceremonies, there’s an original melody that is played by the kurbu [a 3-stringed lute]. When the energy rises between the players and the dancers, the kurbu player leaves his melody, and follows his heart. But if you tell that kurbu player to work with a modern group and ‘improvise,’ you have to explain to him what it means.”
Mamar Kassey’s travels eventually brought Toure to New York City, where he now lives and performs with his current band, Deep Sahara. Toure can cradle an acoustic guitar and fingerpick his way through desert trance grooves, and he can also take up a flatpick, and wail on electric—edging desert folklore into the realm of blues and rock. One day, he plans to return to Niger to set up a studio and form an international touring band. For now, Toure is merely one of the most riveting African guitarists to be found in the United States.

Recordings from Mali! (Oumar Konate, Noura Mint Seymali and more) Podcast 19

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I’m back from the Sahara, and, as promised, have a ton of recordings to share with you.  This special show was originally broadcast on WKCR on 89.9 FM-NY and features rough mixes of studio recordings with up and coming guitarist and pop star Oumar Konate, Griot Royalty Noura Mint Seymali from Mauritania recording exclusively for us in her flat in Timbuktu, artists from Niger informally jamming in their tents and the Festival Au Desert and much, much more. We’ll hear this Takamba band in the photo above- they use a car battery and a PA and the flute ends up sounding just like Jimi Hendrix…

Oran Etkin Quartet: Lionel Loueke, Makane Kouyate and Joe Sanders – Podcast 14

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Oran Etkin is a Grammy Nominated clarinetist and saxophone player, who has been making waves with his band Kelenia which combines his love of jazz and the music of West Africa.  Featured in this live performance is Lionel Loueke of Benin, West Africa, one of the most exciting jazz musicians today.  He’s been playing with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and coming out with amazing albums for Blue Note.

Oran Etkin and Lionel Loueke at WKCR

There is video from this session at WKCR