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13 juillet 2010 2 13 /07 /juillet /2010 16:00

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Bearing striking similarity to the Celtic music of the British Isles, Foday Musa Suso’s dancing yet melancholy playing and singing shows how various world musics have cross-fertilized throughout the centuries.  His role as chronicler of his people’s stories and history also places him in a similar position to the bard of Celtic lands.  And his playing of the kora, a twenty-three stringed West African harp lute, sounds much like the playing of traditional Celtic harpists, especially on “Beach Party,” “Lovers Dance,” and “Traveler.”  Other numbers sound a lot more African: “African Sunshine,” “Simaya Dua,” “Desert Wedding Dance,” and “Makola Markets.

I’m a little puzzled about the title of this disc, The Two Worlds, because it sounds like it almost entirely occupies only one world—that of the traditional Mandingo griot.  Perhaps the more Celtic-sounding numbers, plus the addition of Western percussion overlays (“Desert Wedding Dance” and “Makola Markets”), not to mention the westernized song titles, indicates a deeper blending of sensibilities than is obvious on the surface. Or maybe it’s simply because Suso has spent much of his adult life in the West, living in Chicago and recording for more than fourteen (!) record labels. 

Throughout his long career, Suso has managed to place himself in a variety of fascinating contexts, such as Carnegie Hall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Franfurt International Jazz Festival, and the Cultural Center in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  He has also performed on the film soundtracks Roots, Powaqqatsi, and Mountain of the Moon, and was a founder, with Adam Rudolph, of the Mandingo Griot Society.  This wide variety of experience he deftly incorporates into his traditional kora playing, giving it a complexity, subtlety, and vitality beyond what is found in most other practitioners of this somewhat static music.

by Jan P. Dennis
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Origine du Groupe : Gambia

Style : World Music

Sortie  2008
TrackList:
1 - Beach Party
2 - Maliba
3 - Many Faces
4 - Summer Time
5 - Lovers Dance
6 - African Sunshine
7 - Simaya Dua
8 - Desert Wedding Dance
9 - Traveler
10 - Makola Markets

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