Another musician from the Gambia winds up our look at "updated" kora music. Unlike the two previous artists featured here, I was able to find out a fair bit about Mr. Jaliba Kuyateh, who is called "The Cultural Ambassador of the Gambia."
He has been playing the kora since the age of five and has been performing with his group, the Kumarehs, since the early '90s. They have toured the United States as well as throughout Europe.
Like the music of Ebrima Tata Jobateh, Kuyateh's sound combines vigorous kora playing with a full array of electric instruments and drum kit as well as local percussion. The cassette Hera Bangku (Kerewan Sounds, 1995) is an excellent introduction to his music. Enjoy!
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Hera Bangku
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Sherifolu
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Julu-Jo
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Fitna
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Kebalang Camara
Jaliba Kuyateh & the Kumarehs - Nyananding
Download Hera Bangku as a zipped file here. More music by Jaliba Kuyateh is available here.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Researching that last post has got me to pondering the ways in which the kora, the traditional 21-string harp-lute of West Africa, has been combined with more modern sounds. There are plenty of examples, from the musical fusions of Foday Musa Suso and Djeli Moussa Diawara to Toumani Diabate's collaborations with Taj Mahal and Björk, to, incredibly, Naughty By Nature's 1991 smash hit "O.P.P."
None of these attempts to update the classic sound, in my opinion, approach the pure polyphonic joy of Ebrima Tata Jobateh's cassette Waato, recorded with his group Salam (apparently members of his extended family) and released by Kerewan Sounds in Gambia in 1995.
Efforts to find out more about this mysterious artist didn't yield much save this observation by Nick Deen of Natari: ". . . Tata's solo style is extremely impressive and in fact leaves the older Paris-based kora players like Mory Kante very much in the shade. Absolute magic all the way through." Of course, I wholeheartedly agree with Nick's assessment! Hear for yourself:
Tata & Salam Band - San-Chaba
Tata & Salam Band - Sabarla
Tata & Salam Band - Mali-Gambia
Tata & Salam Band - Boto Sanneh
Tata & Salam Band - Mariama Jallow
Tata & Salam Band - Kaira
Tata & Salam Band - Duwa
Tata & Salam Band - Alagie Danso
You can download Waato as a zipped file here. More new-fangled kora sounds to follow.