Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Kouyate's 2013 release is for the hard-core West African music fan only
on 1 August 2013
This is the January 2013 album from Malian ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate, following-on from previous releases `Segu Blue' and the Grammy nominee (not winner) `I Speak Fula'.
The album features other Malian musicians playing traditional African instruments, including Kouyate's musician-sons Madou and Moustafa and fellow ngoni-player Abou Sissoko. It was recorded in Bamako and produced in Montreal by Howard Bilerman.
The songs focus on the political situation in Mali, and to a non-Malian audience may seem rather obscure and parochial in content. Though the sophisticated blend of musical styles so evident in (for example) the music of Salif Keita or Amadou & Mariam is here almost completely absent, the music nevertheless has its moments.
Highlights include the title track - very catchy and full of energy - and the oddly titled `Poye2' which is a West African take on Mississippi Delta blues. Much of the remaining content is unfortunately neither great nor memorable, unless you're a hard core fan of truly ethnic West African music offering few concessions to western tastes. I write this as a genuine fan of this genre with a large collection of music by Ali Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate, Super Rail Band in its various incarnations, Fatou Diawara, Amadou & Mariam and the incomparable Salif Keita. `Jama Ko' is OK, but not among the best in such stellar company.