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

Various Artist: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia (Rough Guide)

Various Artist: The Rough Guide to Psychedelic Cambodia (Rough Guide)

When the Khmer Rouge acted out John Lennon's Imagine ("no heaven, no possessions, no religion" etc) and undertook mass murder and driving the country back to primitive, agrarian times... > Read more

Zedashe: Our Earth and Water (Living Roots)

Zedashe: Our Earth and Water (Living Roots)

Okay, we're not gonna lie to you . . . this is highly demanding if authentic folk from this vocal ensemble out of the Georgian Caucasus. These 26 polyphonic secular and sacred songs... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Canada: Driving and Blogging from BC (A compendium of on-the-road blogs)

Canada: Driving and Blogging from BC (A compendium of on-the-road blogs)

So, five years on from 9/11 and what have we learned? Mostly that with heightened security arrangements we have yet to figure out a way of getting masses of people through airports without causing... > Read more

GEORGE HARRISON REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): The dark horse at a canter to the end

GEORGE HARRISON REVISITED, PART TWO (2014): The dark horse at a canter to the end

The 2004 Oscars were unusual in how lacking in sentiment they were. Usually you'd expect a veteran favourite like Clint Eastwood to be recognised, or some time-server to get best supporting... > Read more