I have yet to hear anything second-rate to come out of Mali, they just don't do second-rate, and I have shelves of it, but this is a bit special. I've never heard a recording of jali music that sounds quite so unassumingly sophisticated which also sounds like it's village music too. Her voice (she's the daughter of Djefadima), and some of the best kora playing you've ever heard, is matched by quite brilliant production. It doesn't sound like 'field recording', it doesn't sound like Techno Issa in Bamako either, it sounds what it is, music that doesn't need Western 'production values', an opera house or the fortune Bryan Ferry spent in the studio, just naked music of a very high order, sympathetically and noticeably expertly recorded. If you're one of those people who thinks that Salif Keita sold out to record companies (an opinion I personally find as offensively colonial as it is mistaken, but can to an extent understand), you should hear this. Forty years ago, another jali, Kory Sandia Kouyate, got a Grand Prix du Disque, but this is a better disc all round, even if she doesn't have the operatic scale of voice he had. At the same time, she's just as knowing as Souad Massi or Angelique Kidjo, she just doesn't make any compromises to electronica or fashion. Honestly, if you heard this in a pub in Camden you'd never forget it, except that no pub in Camden has an acoustic like the real Africa.
Be aware, West African classics from a few years ago go for next to nothing before becoming unobtainable collectors' items. This is a case in point.