Saro - 2012 - Studiomali
Traditional Inventiveness: Andra Kouyaté and Sèkè Chi reveal the innovative spirit and polyglot funk in Mali’s deepest roots. In some musically vibrant corners of the world, innovation is the tradition.
Inventing a new version of the n'goni - the precursor to the banjo that can render lightning-fast melodies in skilled hands - Andra took a fresh approach to the traditional instrument, adding the bass sounds he missed to the mix by carefully modifying the n’goni until it achieved a deeper, richer resonance and found the new expressive quality he craved.
A relentless rehearser, arranger, and stickler for detail, he thoughtfully incorporates subtle reggae vibes ('Saro', 'Yereko”) or funk flourishes ('Aye Anflé') to his deep roots.
On his first major international release, Andra and his youthful ensemble Sèkè Chi bring a wide-ranging, aesthetically linked set of songs on Saro (Studio Mali; July 31, 2012).
Saro features contributions by Amadou and Mariam; by local star Mah Bara Soumano; by older brother Bassekou Kouyaté; by respected Malian singer Ami Sacko; by Harouna Samake the kamele n’goni player for Salif Keita; and by balafon whiz Lassana Diabaté of the Grammy-winning project AfroCubism.
- "The album reveals Andra’s stunning ability to embrace not only all the musical possibilities of Mali’s many traditions, but also a relentless drive to create and re-imagine the music he loves."
“Entertaining music is great. Enduring music is better. Music deeply rooted in tradition yet of and for the modern world — that may be best of all. And that’s the heart of Andra Kouyate & Sèkè Chi’s sound on the new album Saro.
"Saro stands as a fine example of Malian musical openness and pan-ethnic innovation at its best.” "Banning Eyre"
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