- 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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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.
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.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For fans on African music, this CD is up there with the very best.Published 5 months ago by Martin Walker
Bought this in the end because my long admired bootleg PC-made CD copy of it had dropouts when played in my best HiFi gear. Read morePublished on 28 Oct. 2013 by Mr. John P. Dalton
I loved this album. Although I don't understand the words, it's cheerful with catchy rhythms. I've got it set as my wake-up music in the mornings, to set me up for the day.Published on 3 Oct. 2013 by maryh
A movingly wonderful blend of music. At points so much expressed in so little. But what does 'e ay' mean?Published on 1 July 2013 by Catherine
Salif Keita's music is always a really good listen in my view, but the multichannel listening experience of the hybrid SACD is something else. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2012 by Mr. C. G. Veitch