Here's another recording that was featured not too long ago on another site - in this case Mangue Music, which posted it on January 10 of last year.
I hesitated before posting it again here, but in light of my last missive, which dealt with Yaya Bangoura and the fate of Guinean music since 1984, I figured, why not? Kadé Diawara is another Guinean artist who made the transition from state sponsorship under Sekou Touré to the modern era. And besides, L'Eternelle Kadé Diawara (Alpha Mamadou Cissé et Frères AMC 002, 1992) is so darn good, it's worth another listen!
I've been unable to find out much about Madame Diawara. I think she may have passed away recently, although I can't confirm that. She is (was?) from a musical family, performing since childhood. Earning the nickname of "The Manding Archangel," she was a member of l'Ensemble Instrumental National du Guinée in the '70s, making this remarkable video, apparently from a local broadcast:
Kadé Diawara & l'Ensemble Instrumental National - Armeé Guinéene
She made one LP for Editions Syliphone in 1976, L'Archange du Manding (SLP 62), a restrained effort with Moussa Konate and Abraham Kebe. I don't have it, but did find one track from it:
Kadé Diawara - Bélé Bélé
And then, in 1992, Madame Diawara made an outstanding comeback. The cassette L'Eternelle Kadé Diawara is quite an acheivement, combining modern technology, Manding tradition and a host of talented supporting musicians, notably Sekouba Bambino Diabaté. It is justly famed:
Kadé Diawara - N'Madjènè
At least two more releases followed.
Sadly, the story of Kadé Diawara's life doesn't seem to have a happy ending. According to this article, as of three years ago she had fallen on hard times, living off a modest pension and whatever she could scrape up singing at baptisms and weddings. The fate of too many musicians in Africa!
Download L'Eternelle Kadé Diawara as a zipped file here.