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Brothers in Bamako - Eric Bibb & Habib Koite

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Brothers in Bamako - Eric Bibb & Habib Koite
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  • Blues People - feat. Taj Mahal - Blind Boys of Alabama etc.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Contre Jour
  • ASIN: B008NHS5EK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 158,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

I watched my parents and it rubbed off on me... This is how Habib Koité traces the origins of his profession and talent as a 21st century griot. Eric Bibb has a similar background: his father, Leon Bibb, is a singer well known in musical theatre and folk music circles and Eric is also the godson of the famous singer and activist Paul Robeson. In other words, Eric grew up surrounded by music. Habib is the heir to an ancestral knowledge set to song that places him among the most influential voices of contemporary Africa. Eric has established his name in the new generation of bluesmen without renouncing the legacy of folk and gospel. What could be more natural than for this Malian and African-American to join the rhythms of their guitars and voices in some transatlantic blues? Two popular singers, two singers rooted in an ancient tradition and everything it infers: knowledge, a unique musical repertoire, and a way of using song to pass a social message. Both have humbly acquired a sense for song that permeates society. Without any precise agenda in mind, they have developed a common repertoire. Tongues loosened to the rhythm of guitars and the path took its natural course. Each finds something familiar in the song of the other. Habib sings about his era, his environment. He lives, breathes and sings Africa, but an altered Africa, transformed by the rest of the world. Eric is receptive to this approach. And without consciously deciding, songs with a social message emerge.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is not original in the sense that Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder have both recorded with African musicians to explore the roots of the blues in West African music but Eric Bibb and Habib Koite are such a great fit - their guitars and voices blending perfectly like they have been playing together for years.

The emphasis here is on Eric's gospel side and 'Touma Ni Kelen/Needed time' is Eric's signature song combined with exotic West African sounds. As usual Eric is in great voice throughout but Habib Koite also has a wonderful voice and is also a great guitar and banjo player, check out the Malian trance blues 'Foro Bana'. 'On My Way to Bamako' is a gentle original song to start the record describing Eric's first visit to West Africa while 'We Don't Care' is a comment on worldwide commercialism - "We want the gold, as long as we don't have to mine it, don't care who suffers or who's behind it". This is a really nice record which successfully blends the two traditions and has both men singing and playing in perfect harmony - the respect between the two is plainly evident.
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Format: Audio CD
If calm and melodic ruminations on the world's woes can provide a musically palliative cure, we should gag our rants and stifle our moans to allow this record the aural space to gently work its magic. That would be the sweet dream anyway.

Habib Koite and Eric Bibb merge their respective West African [Mali] and American [Finland!] roots music with a gentle glue that adheres melody and acoustic guitar/banjo playing to beautiful effect. On the opening two tracks, each artists shares a geographical as well as cultural exchange with Bibb's first 'On My Way To Bamako' and Koite's second 'L.A.' - a musical mission statement on partnership and sharing [with Koite singing in French so I'm not entirely sure what the cultural celebration is, apart from an English expression of enjoying five shots of tequila that 'make me happy'!].

They literally first join on third track 'Touma Ni Kelen/Needed Time' which is gorgeous, both picking guitars - folk blues and flamenco - and accompanied by percussive African rhythms and sounds. Tracks 'We Don't Care' and 'Send Us Brighter Days' present their concern for the world's self-indulgences and greed and therefore the need for a better way, the latter a slow blues with the sweetest harmonising. The whole album rests - perhaps too comfortably for some - in this peaceful and meditative mood. Indeed, the twelfth track is a rather soporific version of 'Blowin' In The Wind' where the famous narrative does fit that reflective disposition but it is a little too slow and misses the rhetorical pace inherent in its lyrics.

So if you are wide awake and can steel yourself against the soothing sound, or alternatively you need to chill, this has thirteen tracks to comfort and please with ease.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two master musicians in cahoots! Whether you're into Americana of Africana, it's all here as Bibb and Koite weave intricate webs of musical counterplay that threaten to carry you off into the great blue yonder. And what's more - you won't want to come back!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Always been a fan of Eric Bibb (who is the godson of Paul Robeson!).
Attended his performance in Marciac, France at the annual jazz festival and he was singing with Habib Koité.
It was fabulous. This CD captures the magic. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent brilliant album - timeless and just wish more people got to hear it! Realy sad the town of Bamako has now been in the news for such sad reasons!
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