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

Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Adami)

Speed Caravan: Kalashnik Love (Adami)

The sound of the oud, a Middle Eastern lute, has frequently found favour at Elsewhere, notably with Le Trio Joubran and Anouar Brahem, and albums like Cairo Nights. But as the title of this... > Read more

Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

Te Vaka: Haoloto (Spirit of Play)

If the shadow of climate change has hung over previous albums by award-winning Te Vaka -- a pan-Pacific group (leader Opetaia Foa’i was born in Samoa, has family ties to endangered Tuvalu and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Billy TK Jnr: Presenting Billy TK Jnr (Ode)

Billy TK Jnr: Presenting Billy TK Jnr (Ode)

It's odd that this album should be called "Presenting" given that Auckland-based guitarist Billy TK Jnr has been taking his brand of tough Texas blues around the bars and clubs of New... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nadia Reid

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Nadia Reid

Raised in Port Chalmers and Christchurch but now living in Auckland, singer-songwriter Nadia Reid (no relation to Elsewhere) has won consistent acclaim for her sometimes melancholy voice coupled... > Read more