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

Le Vent du Nord: Territories (Borealis/digital outlets)

Le Vent du Nord: Territories (Borealis/digital outlets)

With this year's Taranaki Womad almost on us (March 15-17), this new album by a Quebecois band is timely, they played the festival last year and delivered their powerful take on traditional... > Read more

Toumani Diabate and Sidiki Diabate: Toumani & Sidiki (World Circuit)

Toumani Diabate and Sidiki Diabate: Toumani & Sidiki (World Circuit)

While many international music writers closer to the artists have been finding new hyperboles to acclaim the gifted young kora player Sidiki Diabate alongside his father Toumani (an accepted... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BEATLES IN NEW ZEALAND 1964: Screaming and cynicism

THE BEATLES IN NEW ZEALAND 1964: Screaming and cynicism

As the saying goes, the past is another country - -often a pretty innocent one, and certainly cheaper. That's why many people prefer to live there. Roll the clock back to over 40 years ago, and... > Read more

ANOTHER 10 ODD UNPLAYED ALBUMS IN THE COLLECTION (2016): Make them stop!

ANOTHER 10 ODD UNPLAYED ALBUMS IN THE COLLECTION (2016): Make them stop!

In a previous column I wrote with some embarrassment about 10 odd unplayed albums which had sat on my shelves for many, many years. Decades in some instances. And many of them never even getting... > Read more