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Moffou

5.0 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 8 Apr 2002
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00005UW5X
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,542 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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4:32
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Product description

Product Description

Blending traditonal styles of his West African homeland with influences from Cuba, Spain, Portuga l and the Middle East, Salif Keita has delivered a rare fusion of inspiring words and melodies on Moffou, his entirely new acoustic CD.

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The Golden Voice of Mali has occasionally been accused of bombast, but Moffou should silence that particular criticism. It's an exquisite return to roots, and a sharp contrast with the rock and funk grooves of his previous effort, Papa. While that album featured guests such as Grace Jones, Moffou kicks off with a rustically understated duet with Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora. It also reunites Keita with Guinean guitarist Kante Manfila, his old colleague from Les Ambassadeurs. Keita's own surprisingly skilled fretwork can be heard on the three solo guitar-and-voice tracks that punctuate the album. The singer barely raises his voice throughout and he's backed by a soaring chorus of five female singers. Together, their call-and-response interactions underline how closely Moffou brings him back to his Maninka roots, even though none of the songs are directly based on traditional tunes. The arrangements are largely acoustic, with local instruments such as kamalengoni (youth harp) and n'goni (the West African precursor of the banjo) featuring prominently alongside touches of accordion, piano, marimba and subtle percussion. The production bathes everything in an atmospheric patina of effects, which conjures up a sensuous sub-Saharan ambience. Though there are a couple of more upbeat songs such as "Madan" and "Koukou", this is essentially a rather calm reflective set. His best work since Soro, and a must for fans of stylish but unplugged West African music --Jon Lusk.

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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best African CDs I've heard in a long time. Fortunately, the times of silly, artificial sounding studio instruments are over; instead, the music here is carefully recorded and mixed and tastefully arranged and played, using up-to-date studio possibilities. One has the feeling of being quite close to the musicians. The record sounds stripped down, in spite of up to more than 20 participants. Rarely has African music sounded so truly "World Music" - that is, relevant, as here. And, last not least, Salif Keita has got to have one of the most special voices now recording.
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By The Guardian TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
If you're reading this review, you will probably know that Salif Keita is Mali's most successful and internationally recognised composer/musician/singer with a history of creating thoughtful, groundbreaking and memorable music. He is incidentally a direct descendant of Mali's royal family, had to fight traditional taboos to become a musician and is, to boot, an African albino about whom many superstitions exist throughout the continent. Though the man has had an interesting and not always easy life, through his music he has finally become an icon in Mali and won over many international listeners from complete ignorance of West-African produced music to becoming avid devotees - including this reviewer.

Great artists often produce one outstanding, seminal work in a long career that stands out from the rest. For Salif Keita, his masterpiece is "Moffou".

On "Moffou" Keita mixes traditional African "griot" musicians (like Malian guitarists Kante Manfile and Djelly Kouyate) with Paris-based jazz and classical musicians to create haunting, melodious and soulful music bursting with life and energy. Believe it, the result is something really special.

"Yamore", the opening song, is an instant hit. With an improbable but inspired French accordion driving the rhythm, Keita's soulful and arresting tenor carries the melody over a tight, joyous female chorus line with rising and falling cascades to produce a synthesis nothing short of magical. I recently played this for someone who had never heard anything by Salif Keita, and she listened to it over and again on a loop for a whole week: love at the first bar.
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By A Customer on 28 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
It really is a beautiful album which simply grows and grows on you.
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Format: Audio CD
Of noble ancestry, the distinctively albino Salif Keita has been responsible for fusing Mande music with world beats. Yet here, on his eleventh album, he returns to his Maninka roots to deliver his truly beautiful, predominantly acoustic, masterpiece. For on Moffou the tempo generally slows, as ornamental melodies over static harmonies with catchy rhythms are swept along by sweet flowing vocal lines. Repeat listening quickly rewards regular returns to the sinewy turns of rhythm, the percolating bass and guitar lines, the lilt of the African strings and the passionate and delicate beat of the percussion. Keita's golden voice aches with entreaty, resonates with joy, and dances in celebration throughout the album.
It's an exquisite return to roots, exemplified by the album title, for 'Moffou' is both the name for the tiny, shrill, handmade flute Malian farmers use to scare birds from their crops and the adopted name of the club that the singer opened in Bamako in 2002 to promote the West African music roots scene. It is most certainly a sharp contrast with the rock and funk grooves of his previous, somewhat disappointing effort, Papa. While that album featured guests such as Grace Jones, Moffou kicks off with a rustically understated seven-minute plus duet with the platinum selling Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora. It also reunites Keita with Guinean guitarist and long term colleague, Kante Manfila, who contributes his gracious, meticulously crafted acoustic arrangements, central to the essence of the album.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best pieces of music I have purchased!! This voice is phenomenal and the opening track conveys so much emotion!! He could be reading from a telephone directory but I do not care!! The instrumentation, production and arranging are all top quality, Damon Albarn listen to this before making another cross over album!!
Absolutely magical!
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Format: Audio CD
This is the work of a confident artist, surrounded by musicians of quality. Keita's voice seems to have softened with age and the songs are mostly acoustic based with some fine backing singing although some pacier tracks have a good rythym section. Authentic in feel the album benefits from modern production without losing its African roots. At times it bares comparison with the fine 'Talking Timbuktu' by Ali Farke Toure/Ry Cooder, and it also resembles the recent Baaba Maal 'Missin You'. Although it lacks real stand out tracks this feels like an album which will be a good companion for many years.
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