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 from Elsewhere articles index

THE TIMETABLE FOR WOMAD TARANAKI 2016

THE TIMETABLE FOR WOMAD TARANAKI 2016

The annual Womad festival in New Plymouth is one of the high points in New Zealand's musical calendar because, if for no other reason, it brings musicians from all over the world into our sight... > Read more

Titi Robin: Kali Sultana (Filter/Shock)

Titi Robin: Kali Sultana (Filter/Shock)

Surprisingly, this French multi-instrumentalist (oud, guitar, anything with strings) hasn't previously appeared at Elsewhere, largely because his albums are in woefully short supply in New Zealand.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

PAUL McCARTNEY: FLAMING PIE, CONSIDERED (1997): The man in the mirror stares himself down

PAUL McCARTNEY: FLAMING PIE, CONSIDERED (1997): The man in the mirror stares himself down

The Eighties was a tough decade for many who had come to attention in the Sixties: any Best of 80s Bob Dylan compilation is scraping around; singers like Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black and Dionne... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Weather Report; I Sing the Body Electric (Sony)

One jazz encyclopedia says of this, the second album by the Joe Zawinul-Wayne Shorter lead fusion group -- "everyting about I Sing the Body Electric was very 1972 . . . the brilliant sci-fi... > Read more