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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 29 January 2013
A beautiful fusion of traditional Malian music and blues in the classical tradition but song in French and played, of course, on the Ngoni. The title track is utterly beautiful and uplifting. Whilst listening to this music you are instantly aware that you are listening to a master musician at work. All the tracks have an intricateness and a rich complexity, but all have a lightness of touch. If you like great blues listen to Poye 2. Highly recommended.
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on 3 October 2013
"Jama Ko" is the third album by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, and it lives up to the high standards of the previous two.
Bassekou Kouyate plays the ngoni, a west African lute, electrified on this album. His wife sings most of the vocals with her powerful voice and now the band is becoming a family affair with his two sons also playing ngonis. They are joined by many other musicians, notably Taj Mahal on one particularly bluesy track and a male lead vocalist on a few others. The musicianship is excellent and the overall sound is a combination of tradition and modernity.
The album contains helpful and detailed liner notes in English explaining each song and the context to the album, which was recorded in Mali during a military coup and an extremist insurgency in the country's north. Accordingly, political concerns and a defiant defence of tolerance and unity are key themes on the album, along with morals that can be learned from Malian history. Some of this anger could be guessed from the music alone without reading the liner notes, but on the whole the album still has an upbeat sound to it.
Anyone familiar with the group's earlier work, or with Malian or west African music in general, should get this album. Coming from a country that produces so much beautiful music, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba are right up with the best of Malian musicians.
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on 29 April 2013
Another super album from the Malian superstars. I didn't however find this as immediately enjoyable as the previous album. Perhaps the novely factor is wearing off for me.
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on 19 March 2013
Beautiful lively yet soulful album if you've never bought African/Malian music before start now with this and get hooked. A superb example of its genre.
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on 24 March 2013
Esential to purchase to keep the flower of Africa alive. Sad to think that the taliban are banning music in Mali
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on 2 April 2015
Another great album by this amazing Malian musician. My favourite though is still his debut Segu Blue (2007)
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on 7 October 2015
I give this one 2 stars, mostly because I hate to admit that I did a bad purchase...
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on 30 July 2014
Not as good as I had hoped jusdging by their performance at Glasto.
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on 22 March 2013
i think this album is arguably bassekou's best album.I love the first two albums he made but that one is a real masterpiece.If you love malian music, you must have that!!!
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