COMPOSERS: Salif Keita
CATALOGUE NO: 882 4026
The finale of the Malian pioneer’s decade-spanning ‘acoustic trilogy’ brings the engrossing experience of a musician totally at ease with his many talents.
It follows a cumulative trajectory like a well-planned concert, addressing his audience with directness from the start and moving from the vital to the intense, celebratory and heartfelt.
Lightly and imaginatively varied in instrumentation – occasional Arabic touches include an oud and a Lebanese string section – the music rests on a plucked foundation of guitar and n’goni (lute) in energetic support of
Keita’s long, high-lying vocal phrases. As well as revisiting some of his own classics, notably the affecting song of bereavement ‘Papa’ and the politically charged ‘Folon’, he seeks out new domains: the title track refers to his white skin, and the whole album is dedicated to the victims of an anti-albino prejudice that’s still rife across the continent. A true affirmation. Robert Maycock