Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sekouban Bambino Diabate

Incredible cover of James Brown's It's A Man's World by Guinean guitarist/vocalist Sekouban Bambino Diabate. He was born in 1964 in the village of Kintinya, right on the border with Mali. His music is of the same Western African tradition as Mali. When he was 16, the President of Guinea heard him and encouraged him to become a member of the top Guinean group, Bembeya Jazz. He released his first solo recording in 1991. He has toured in Europe, but is relatively unknown outside of Africa where he is a superstar. I heard his 2002 recording of A Man's World from his CD Sinikan and was knocked out! After hearing it a few more times, I think it is the most incredible version of this song I have ever heard....well, maybe the live MC5 version comes close, but a totally different genre. I am a real fan of Western African Music. Some of the greatest guitarist on the planet came out of this rich tradition. 

I am still involved with the Groupe Coordination Aude Mali and we have updated the donation information in the sidebar of this blog.  Life has stabilized for many of the refugees and they are slowly coming back to their villages from the refugee camps in Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Life is still very dangerous for many because of the continuing unstable politcal situation, but we are helping to rebuild the school GCAM funds and classes have started again! I want to update the situation in another piece, but one good thing is that many of the great Malian musical artists who left Mali in fear of their lives when the Al Qaeda group banned music are able to go home again! GCAM was able to keep the Toureg villagers they support alive by helping them escape, feeding them and now helping them restart their lives in the traditional home. The donations we got through this blog went a long way in the emergency. GCAM is a very small NGO with virtually no overhead and administrative costs. There are a few people who have been on the ground for the last 30 years who are a part of the lives of the Toureg people. Nothing you donated was wasted.  If you feel like it, any small donation you give using the PayPal button in the sidebar will be used to help these people survive.


bj said...

What's that instrument with the thousand strings called?

microdot said...

It's a kora. A west African 21 string bridge harp. traditionally made with a huge gourd. this is an incredibly expressive, sophisticated, classical instrument that has been documented since 700 ad.
There is a very interesting duo, French cellist Vincent Segal and Malian Kora player, Ballake Sissoko that have recorded a few CDs together. It's an amazing instrument. The traditional kora masters were blind, like the Japanese koto masters. It's being heard more and more as the rest of the world opens their ears to this incredibly complex and sophisticated musical tradition!