SÉkou bAH

Soukkabè Mali 7/10

UNCUT - - New Albums - Jon DaLe

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.

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