Salif Keita & Kante Manfila

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COMPOSERS: Salif Keita & Kante Manfila
LABELS: Cantos/Frochot
ALBUM TITLE: `The Lost Album
WORKS: `The Lost Album
PERFORMER: Salif Keita (singer), Kante Manfila (guitar), various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: 079.0003.026
Here are two Malian greats before they became world news. Previously unreleased outside Africa, this 1980 album draws on several years’ shared experience. The basis is a pair of guitars, their figurations evolving constantly over basic chord patterns, while Keita’s trademark vocal phrases – quick descents from stunning high entries, and powerful sustained notes – are already coming across in full force. The style is rooted in tradition, with an answering women’s chorus and a set of marimbas joining in a couple of tracks. A slightly jazzy and very laid-back trumpet sidles in and out, and the finale features a full-scale band with brass, percussion, and a stunning electric guitar solo. Robert Maycock