viernes, 26 de octubre de 2012

Ballaké Sissoko - Tomora [Mali]

Ballake Sissoko is a master musician on the 21 stringed harp like instument the kora. And with just that instrument, the African precursor to the banjo called the ngoni, the marimba-like balafon, and very occasional voice and drums, he and his men make some of the most beautiful and arresting music I've heard in some time. The music is rhythmically complex due to the short decay time and percussive nature of the sound these instruments make, in other words there are a lot of notes and a lot of groove. But the music is also melodically beautiful and sophisticated. Melodies intertwine with one another as each instrument takes a turn in the spotlight much like jazz, at other times in the ensemble sections sounding almost like flamenco guitars. The ballad Berekolan for lone Kora sounds almost harpsichord-like but has a more rounded and sonorous tone. This is some beautiful music, quiet yet very powerful.


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