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…
Abdoulaye Diabate from Mali has been called the greatest griot singer living in the United States.
We recorded this duo track in my studio this year and I thought that rather than selling it, I’d like to share it as a holiday gift to show appreciation to current and future friends who have been enjoying this podcast, Acoustic Mandala Project, or life in general. On this track, Abdoulaye plays rhythm guitar, bass, djembe and sings, I play some rhythm guitar and all the lead guitars. This is part of a bigger project called Abdoulaye Diabate’s African Ladyland.
I hope you enjoy it and that you have a a wonderful New Year.
Here’s a bio of Abdoulaye from Wikipedia:
Abdoulaye Diabaté was raised in the Mande tradition to a djali family (traditional musicians and story tellers). His brother Kasse Mady has achieved worldwide fame and his sister Mama Diabate is a great star in Guinea. At age 18, having developed into a formidable singer and guitarist he left his village. He joined Tenetemba Jazz in Bemako, the capital of Mali. In 1975, he moved to Abidjan in Ivory Coast where he formed his own band called Super Mande. Super Mande became one of the foremost ensembles in the capital performing all over the country. At times, some now most famous West African stars such as Salif Keita, Mory Kante and Ousmane Kouyate joined the group for performances. The career of Super Mande culminated with the release of their album “Wahabiadashi” which was eventually banned from airplay because the title track criticized hypocritical Marabouts (religious leaders). In the early nineties, Diabate was recruited as a star singer in the world renowned “Ballet Koteba” led by Souleymane Koli to replace Sekou Camara “Cobra” after his death; and also as rhythm-guitarist with the “Go de Koteba” the world famous women group. He toured the world with these ensemble for several years. In 1996, he relocated in New York City. He has since taken part in many cultural events as leader of the re-formed Super Mande group and with many collaborations with artists such as jazzman Don Byron, Peter Apfelbaum, Sean Noonan, and the groups Source and Fula Flute Ensemble.
A couple recordings I made with a mini-disc recorder in Independent Samoa in 2002 0r 2003. Every Samoan can sing, if you started to sing a song on a public bus everyone would join you. The houses have thatched roofs and walls of woven leaves that are folded up during the daytime so the breeze sweeps through. Here are some pics: the father and son are from the Falonga Bay village in Upolo, where I recorded the outstanding youth chours.