Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra: Boulevard de l'Independence (/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Toumani Diabate: Ya Fama
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra: Boulevard de l'Independence (/Elite)

Copies of this uplifting album by Diabate from Mali come with an intelligent and interesting DVD-doco which shines a light on the culture of the griot -- a caste of hereditary musicians-cum-storytellers and counsellors to the influential -- and also explains that unusual band name: Diabate wanted to bring together the traditions of the griot (and the old instruments like balafon) with the contemporary world (of electric guitars and keyboards) and keep them in balance and harmony.

Symmetric.

For the past 10 years Diabate -- who plays the kora, a complex but hypnotic string instrument which sounds like a harp -- and his band have played at a club in Bamako and, as he says in the liner notes to this album, people at the club are free to enjoy the music without the obligations of tradition.

Which means we get invited in to this lovely music also, and aren't expected to know all about griot.

Part way between an orchestra, a dance band, a folk group and a jazz band, the Symmetric Orchestra make music which is warm and inviting, and always melodically interesting.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino

Mauro Durante of the southern Italian band of the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino laughs about the problem the group has, but also how they rise above it. “Many of our songs are written... > Read more

Terakaft: Alone (Out Here)

Terakaft: Alone (Out Here)

Old hands -- greybeards we might say -- in the genre that we loosely call "world music" have long ago given up trying to anticipate where the next great sounds might come from and, as we... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE AUCKLAND FESTIVAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY (2015): LIfe in the lens

THE AUCKLAND FESTIVAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY (2015): LIfe in the lens

The annual festival of photography which opens in Auckland today at various locations, is more than just a showcase of the work by many and diverse photographers but also offers the viewer an... > Read more

Joe Bonamassa: Different Shades of Blue (J&R/Southbound)

Joe Bonamassa: Different Shades of Blue (J&R/Southbound)

Astutely released today in advance of his sole New Zealand concert in Auckland tonight, this is the first album by acclaimed American guitarist/singer Joe Bonamassa featuring all his own... > Read more