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on 28 April 2017
I really enjoyed Bassekou Kouyate's first two albums - warm, inviting, intricately arranged, bouncy rhythms, with great vocals and ngoni playing. Jama Ko follows on in similar style from I Speak Fula, but I was still disappointed. They seem to have veered off the rails somewhat here. It's not as cohesive or warm as the previous effort, as if the ideas weren't flowing so well and they had to try a little too hard to get it all happening. It's all a bit wilder and crazier, but not better. Worst of all, the sound is very harsh and in your face. Where there is a pleasing spatial ambience in I Speak Fula, here everything is up front and sizzling, even the backing vocals. It's all very edgy and wearying. I put it down to the studio situation, perhaps the producer and engineer just weren't on the ball for these sessions.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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.
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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 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 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 6 June 2013
I liked their earlier albums and wasn't disappointed with this one, it has lived in my car since I bought it
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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 7 August 2014
This band just gets better and better. I have all their albums and they just improve with each one. Also one of the most vibrant live bands out of Africa I've seen for many years
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on 27 April 2013
Bassekou Kouyate has created another wonderful cd here. The vibrant sounds of Africa burst through. Unmissable for me at this time
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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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