Soukkabè Mali 7/10
Questing, spirited Malian folk-funk
Sékou Bah is a player of note in Mali, partly thanks to the company he keeps – Bah accompanied Salif Keita and Oumou Sangaré for many years; he’s now bassist for singer Fatoumata Diawara. He’s a formidable figure, with a sensibility that balances the thorny thickets of melody and phrasing from instruments like the kora, with a deep, gently psychedelic rhythmic undertow that has the ease and grace of great Malian funk and soul. It doesn’t always catch – the rap in “Kalan Ko” feels superfluous – but the highlife twitches and acoustic melancholy of the following “Adamadenw” is totally compelling.