Sousou and Maher Cissoko: Africa Moo Baalu (ARC)

 |   |  <1 min read

Soussou and Maher Cissoko: Fall
Sousou and Maher Cissoko: Africa Moo Baalu (ARC)

The kora player/singer Maher Cissoko is a Senegalese griot who ended up in The Gambia (after his father “threw him out of the house”, according the liner notes), then moved on to Germany and finally went on to Stockholm where he studied music. 

His wife, multi-instrumentalist and singer Sousou – who grew up in unbelievable spacious southern Sweden – studied kora in The Gambia.

Given the distances travelled and the coincidences required for them to meet, they did and together they have adopted the role of traditional jalis (Mandinka story-tellers of peace and understanding).

In Western music protest songs frequently resort to headline simplicity and sloganeering but these songs work a very different kind of protest, music coming directly from the artists' souls to the listener's heart. And there it digs in deep as a collective cry from the dispossessed, disenfranchised and oppressed in West Africa.

This understated and utterly convincing album – lyrics in translation – weaves into the subconscious via the mesmerising sounds of kora, guitar and calabash. The pointed liner notes give the background to the songs, but any receptive ear, mind and heart can feel the pain, rage and  required reconciliation between past and present.

Truth telling in song.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Look, I have absoluely no doubt that singer Riz -- who was previously a fashion choreographer and director who sang light jazz and bossa nova -- makes music as authentically "Gypsy" as... > Read more

Natacha Atlas: The Best of Natacha Atlas (Mantra)

Natacha Atlas: The Best of Natacha Atlas (Mantra)

Atlas -- born in Belgium but with family links to Egyptian, Palestinian and Moroccan cultures -- is one the most thrilling contemporary voices of the Middle East crescent. She came to attention in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Stephen Heard of Clap Clap Riot

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Stephen Heard of Clap Clap Riot

New Zealand band Clap Clap Riot have had -- for two terrific albums now -- a mainline into edgy pop which works around those core values of energy, economy and indivduality. Their debut album... > Read more

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN goes bird watching

GUEST WRITER JEFFREY PAPAROA HOLMAN goes bird watching

Everybody knows about the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers: it’s famous for sure, but far from most urban centres and off the beaten tourist track. Not so, the less well-known colony... > Read more