Sabou

COMPOSERS: Mory Kante
LABELS: Riverboat
WORKS: Sabou
PERFORMER: Mory Kante
CATALOGUE NO: TUGCD 1034

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One who is absent is Mory Kante. Early on his career took him from Guinea to Europe and back to the Rail Band in Mali. Then he settled in Paris and pioneered an idiom that dared the inconceivable: mixing his inherited tradition with popular, international influences and seeking to take it to the world. He brought it off.

The door was open for non-griot singers from the region, the likes of Salif Keita and Youssou N’Dour, to reach out to a new public. Now in Sabou he has returned to his roots. The grooves are still contemporary but they are played by a mostly acoustic line-up and the music seems fresher for it.

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A couple of the tracks even bear a passing kinship with Youssou’s recent turn to home-grown sounds. No doubt about it, the musicians want it, the companies reckon it’s a risk worth taking and the plugs are being pulled out all over Africa.