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

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

In a reproduction of what must have been the original cheap cover, this minimal and curiously religious/sexual album by Rob from Ghana has all the look -- and resonance -- of a rare reggae album... > Read more

Songhoy Blues: Music in Exile (Transgressive)

Songhoy Blues: Music in Exile (Transgressive)

With the sounds of Womad still ringing in our ears, this remarkable album might get more traction that it might otherwise have found. That said however, this one also walks towards a mainstream... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

The Skatalites: Anthology (Primo/Southbound)

This 35-track double disc pulls together essential Skatalite material alongside work that appeared under the names of some the group's members (Rolando Alphonso, Baba Brooks, Don Drummond, Tommy... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Fleetwood Mac; 3 Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Fleetwood Mac; 3 Original Album Classics

This struck me as funny: shortly after posting a front page mention of "the most famous line-up" of Fleetwood Mac playing New Zealand dates I got a sharp e-mail from a fellow who said,... > Read more