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ZOUMANA DIARRA'S BENKADI INTERNATIONAL ''JOULOLOU'' (MALI, 1997) @ [64k]

20/03/2011 19:13 0 Comentarios Lectura: ( palabras)

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ZOUMANA DIARRA'S 

BENKADI INTERNATIONAL 

''JOULOLOU''  (MALI, 1997)    @

This is a CD with one of Zoumana Diarra's bands, Benkadi International. It is an interesting record, the group tries to establish its own expression in an unusual genre, West African jazz. Oumou Sangare as well as Bembeya Jazz lurks in the background. There are many good attemps here, Zoumana Diarra is a brilliant guitarist, and Benkadi International gives him a good support, on vocals, bass and drums.

imageThe record is best when the group sticks to its more melodiuos stuff, where it takes care of the folk roots, like on the tracks "Setou" and "Ali-O-Diallo Mbaye". Here I think the group manages what it has in mind: To create a new and modern jazz expression, built on the Mande tradition. Also the track "Yaya-Oh" works well, Zoumana Diarra improvises with his lightning fast riffs up against the sparkling bass playing of Abdou Camara, improvisations that make me remember the cooperation between Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in the days of the Cream.

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But this is difinitely African. But too often the group embarks into soulless and boring jazz rock. It sounds as if the Benkadi International members are better instrumentalists than composers, they have made all the music together.

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