Sunday, 14 January 2018

Julien Dembélé - 2011.Jul.03 - Afrikafestival Hertme NL

Was going through not sorted files, looking for something 'out of the box' to post, and found a 2011 recording of Julien Dembélé, unknown to me, at the Afrikafestival in Hertme. Played it, liked it a lot, started searching info about him, and guess what, he's from Mali (so not so 'out of the manguetic box').
Julien Dembélé from the Bobo area in Mali (picture from maliweb)

Julien Dembélé was born in a Mandiakuy griot family, in the Bobo area, in the center of Mali. From an early age his father taught him to play the balafon and the n'goni. At the age of eight he got his first guitar that he learned to play himself. Later he learned to play also piano.
Julien devotes his life to music and plays in various orchestras. Nowadays he sings and accompanies himself on guitar. Together with a balafon player and a percussionist (on gourds) he plays regularly in the cultural center Santoro in Bamako. He is the author and composer of all his songs and sings in the Bambara and Bobo.
For the Afrikafestival he comes from Mali and plays together with musicians residing in the Netherlands Zou and Dra Diarra (formerly of Super Biton and Super Djata Band).
--translated from:

DEMBELE-JULIEN-20110703_Hertme R6

setlist: unknown, several songs flow into each other, so not split up into separate tracks (and no soundcloud to listen when downloading)
source: broadcast 2011.Aug.23 - Dutch Radio 6 - Radio 6 Live Show

More info about Julien Dembélé (found very little):

  • Echostar: Julien Dembélé sings "Saraka" to make a place for himself in the sun
    2012.May.31, maliweb (in French)
  • Ab de Haas: Julien Dembele, about 2013 concerts in Holland
    2013.Apr.25, abdehaas in Dutch

Something more to listen/watch:

  • Julien Dembélé's official soundcloud, with some recent recordings
    note: with electronic backing instead of the acoustic in the live recording
  • Two youtube videos ca.2010, uploaded by yoshimasterdam (again Holland?):
    Loylo / Saraka
    line-up: Julien Dembélé - chant et guitarre / Kalifa Koné - balafon / Issa Keita - percussion
Note: acc. (2012.Mar.20) they uploaded video of Julien Dembélé at Hertme on youtube, but it's not available anymore (disappeared for 'rights reasons')


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Festival au Désert 2004.Jan.9-11

A year ago I posted recordings this Festival from 2003, so now the follow-up  of 2004. Recordings made again by mps Pilot and broadcasted on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak'.
cold drinks at the 2004 Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali
picture by Yann Latronche - source: gettyimages
The situation with the Festival au Desert is that it's still 'in exile'. According to a Guardian report there were plans last year to secretly organize it in late 2017 January, all involved were ready to go. But just before a terror attack happened on a military camp in Gao, which caused the death of at least 50 people, and made officials decide to cancel the (secret) festival.
This 2017/18 winter the organizers arranged a 'Festival au Desert' in a refugee camp in Mauritania together with UNHCR-Mauritanie. Let's hope the people living in the camp(s) can soon go to their homes and enjoy music in the place, where their heart is...

Listen to Afel Bocoum with Damon Albarn:

VA-DESERT-2004_Wandel Tak VPRO

playlist: 1.Afel Bocoum - Niafunke (Mali) / 2.Haira Arby - Tombouctou (Mali) / 3.Tamasheq Girls - Quinzame (Mali) / 4.Super 11 de Gao - Super 11 (Mali) / 5.Ali Farka Toure - Karaw* (Mali, from 2003 CD)  / 6.Nuru Kane - unknown title (France/Senegal) / 7.Tartit - Tihar Bayatin (Mali) / 8.Tamasheq - Takamba (Mali) / 9.mps Pilot - Desert Remix (Mali/Holland)

All audio recorded by DJ mps PILOT, 2004.Jan.9-11 at the Festival au Desert, Essakane, Mali. (*except where noted)
Broadcasted 2004.Feb.23 on Dutch Radio 4 VPRO 'Wandelende Tak' (my source is from the, not available anymore, radiostream)

Information about the 2004 Festival au Desert:

  • Sandblasters - interview with Tinariwen at the Festival (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • How the desert festival began (2004.Jan.08, The Guardian)
  • Songs of freedom - report about the Festival (2004.Jan.16, Independent)
  • In pictures: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Jan.30, BBC website)
  • TV Guide: Festival in the Desert 2004 (2004.Feb, BBC Four)
  • Writings by mps Pilot about Festival not available anymore online (but my old copy included in download)
Interesting 2013 interview with Manny Ansar by Oualid Khelifi about the Festival au Desert.


"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Pap Djah's last words before left on his own
in the Sahara desert (in Niger)

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Trio Da Kali - 2017.Sep.14 - Wuppertal, Germany

As written earlier today, now on to the last main dish of 2017 in the Land of Mangos. A concert recording by, the MAKERS of THE ALBUM of the YEAR, Trio Da Kali. In the autumn recorded, on their own, in a church in Wuppertal, Germany.

Trio Da Kali - promo picture
Trio Da Kali were in 2012 brought together as a griot 'super-group' by Lucy Duran, on behalf of the Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI).
Virtuoso balafon player Lassana Diabate was a long-time member of Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra and has recorded with Salif Keita, Taj Mahal and many others.
Singer Hawa 'Kasse Mady' Diabate is the daughter of Mali's greatest traditional singer, Kasse Mady Diabate, and the power, range and phrasing of her voice led David Harrington (from Kronos Quartet) to compare her to the late queen of American gospel, Mahalia Jackson. "She even looks like Mahalia," Harrington noted.
Ngoni player Mamadou Kouyate is the eldest son of the instrument's greatest exponent, Bassekou Kouyate and also plays with his father in the band Ngoni Ba.
Long term collaborators, the artists aim to bring to the forefront neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots, celebrating some of the African continent’s finest, most subtle and sublime music.

TRIO-DA-KALI-20170914_Wuppertal WDR3

setlist*: (intro) / 1. / 2. / (talk and interview) / 3.Kanimba / 4. / 5.Ladilikan / (talk and interview) / 6. / 7. / 8. / (outro)
* no setlist given, only sure titles named (additional titles appreciated)
source: broadcast 2017.Dec.28, Radio WDR3
Line-up: Hawa Kasse Mady Diabate - vocals / Lassana Diabate - musical director, balafon / Mamadou Kouyate - bass ngoni

More about Trio Da Kali:

  • Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet - Eh Ya Ye (videoclip) BRILLIANT!! Let's dance, who cares about the mud!!
  • interview Fode Lassana Diabate (video) - he plays his balafon effortlessly, like caressing the wooden keys with his mallets, goosebumps!!
  • Review Ladilikan - with Kronos Quartet (2017.Sep.14, The Guardian)
  • Interview Trio Da Kali (2017.Oct.20 - The Guardian)

reminder, please don't never ever forget:

"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Bembeya Jazz National 1987 in London (review by John Peel)

Just came across this marvelous review of BEMBEYA JAZZ live 1987 in LONDON written by JOHN PEEL for the newspaper 'The Observer.' Thought this to be a nice starter before the last main dish of this year later today...

Young, Gifted and Black 

1987 July 26, The Observer, page 21, by JOHN PEEL

There are times - are there not - when the animal passions are so engaged that you cannot understand why the breath heaving from your flaring nostrils fails to set your shirt alight. We are talking here about sex.
I am not myself, I reluctantly admit, much given to or sought after for Hunnish practices - an estate agent attempting to interest clients in my oh-so-subtle charms might write something like 'Rural property in need of modernisation. Delightful views. Some damp.' But the music of Bembeya Jazz National, visiting the Africa Centre in Covent Garden from Guinea-Conakry last week, struck me as being impudently erotic.
You will, without doubt, recollect previous jottings on the subject of African music in these pages, how hardly a year passes in which we are not assured by some authority or other that the aforementioned African music is poised - I think that is the word they use - to make significant inroads into mainstream pop. It never happens, of course, and it never will, but during 1986-87 Zimbabwe's Bhundu Boys, followed by Jonah Moyo and the Devera Mgwena Jazz Band and Real Sound, have, in conjunction with a range of home-grown bands, made the less entrenched British audiences at least aware of the sound of African music by the simple means of playing it often and playing it well.
'African music' is clearly as meaningful or as meaningless as 'European music' or 'Asian music,' but there are common characteristics, principally and obviously a considerable but flexible rhythmic drive and an abundance of free-flowing electric guitar playing. At the Africa Centre, Bembeya demonstrated both of these characteristics marvellously well.
Bembeya Jazz National is, even by local standards, a well-established band. Sekou Diabate, known to admirers as Diamond Fingers, was adjudged Africa's best guitarist in 1977 and the equipe itself, if my translation of the French so recklessly employed on the sleeve of a recent LP is correct, has been at it since 1961.
Fielding two trumpets, a tenor sax, guitar, bass, rhythm guitar, drums and percussion, along with three singers decked out in sporty red-and-white matching outfits, Bembeya played to a disappointingly small crowd in Covent Garden. However, those in attendance were not down-hearted. The Guineans play music which has evolved, I am assured, from West African Mandinka rhythms and is called mbalax, a fact which I derived some obscure pleasure communicating to my radio audience, and as they do it and melody upon melody flows from the guitar of Sekou Diabate, the overall effect, as I shamefacedly suggested above, hits below the belt.
In Bembeya's music, as in all the best music whatever its source, there is a considerable sense of space. Rhythms are implied rather than relentlessly stated and somehow the listener's heartbeat seems to fill these gaps. Yet again the pages of my reporter's notebook remained unsullied as I closed my eyes and cursed my inability to dance. Is hypnotherapy a possible solution here?

Sekou Diabate from Bembeya Jazz playing
1987.Jul.08 in Melkweg, Amsterdam

More about Bembeya Jazz and John Peel

info from

John Peel has played at least two tracks by Bembeya Jazz in his radio shows (both just before the publication of above review):
  • 1987.Jul.14: Sukabe
  • 1987.Jul.22: Koumba Tenin
    both tracks from LP 'Bembeya Jazz National' (1986, Disques Espérance #ESP.8430)
note: recordings of both broadcasts only available at the British Library

Couldn't find exact date of concert, nor any pictures of it, so here a picture from a concert they did 1987.Jul.08 in Melkweg, Amsterdam.

To my knowledge no recordings of above concert made.
And personally still desperately looking for live recordings from Bembeya Jazz made in the 1980s...

The Africa Center in Covent Garden seems still going strong...

reminder, please don't never ever forget:

"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Atri N'Assouf - 2012.Nov.24 - Rasa Utrecht

Rissa Ag Wanaghli
Now to the country where the tragedy happened described some days ago.; from Niger (and France) here are: Atri N'Assouf

Biography 2009 by Sedryk
translated from
Rissa Ag Wanaghli, originally from the mining town of Arlit (northern Niger) discovered the guitar in the late 80s, then perfected his apprenticeship with Abdallah Oumbadougou, in Tamanrasset, in 1993.
The following year, he created his first group in Libya, before returning to Niger in 1998 and integrating in Takrist n'Akal, Abdallah's orchestra. It is natural that he joins the Desert Rebel collective in 2006.
Now settled in Paris, Rissa has created the group Atri n'Assouf made up of Tuareg and French musicians, but also Burkinabe and Algerian, fruit of his meeting with the French percussionist Plume. The group's music is inspired by traditional Tamashek melodies and, more generally, by all of West Africa. A first album, "Akal", appeared in 2009, in which the singers of Tartit and Abdallah Ag Alhousseini (Tinariwen) took part.

ATRI-N-ASSOUF-20121124_Rasa Utrecht CZ

setlist: 1.Chagat / 2.Akal / 3.Adidinin / 4.Talgha / 5.Taiman / 6.Ille Ellan / 7.Taranin / 8.Eghaf / 9.Adjar / 10.Imitawan

all tracks: traditional, arrangement by Atri N'Assouf
line-up: Rissa Ag Wanagli - guitar vocals / Mama Walet Amoumine - vocals / Alain Plumeauzille - cajon / Ahmed Cisse - bass guitar / Hama Bilalan - electric guitar
source: radio broadcast 2014.Feb.28 - ConcertZender NL

More information about Atri N'Assouf:

reminder, please don't never ever forget:

"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Friday, 29 December 2017

Baaba Maal - 1992/2001 Session and Live BBC

Had a lot of other things to do today, so now just before diner, jumped behind the screen. Not many time, so just selected one out of my archive, which strangle I didn't post earlier:
Baaba Maal.

Baaba Maal 2001.Apr.29 at African Freedom Festival, London (source: Getty Images)

There's enough info and discographies to find, so leave that to yourselves to search around. I'm not sure what/where I heard first something from him, might be the 'Africa Never Sleeps' compilation or a track from his international debut 'Djam Leeli'. Anyway after hearing such music, you'll never forget his name and always check out something new coming from him. That has not always been to my taste, but the good ones I really liked a lot!!

MAAL-BAABA-1992-2001_Session and Live BBC

1992.Oct.24 - BBC Kershaw Session [session #3?]
setlist: 1.Hamady Boiro / 2.Ndelorel / 3.Toro / 4.Deliya
source: BBC Radio 3 - 1992.Nov.21 - Andy Kershaw

2001.Apr.23 - The Junction, Cambridge, UK
setlist: a1.Cherie // b1.Yoolelle Maman / b2.Miyaabele / b3.Allah Addu Jam
source: BBC Radio 3 - 2001.Apr.27*/Jun.08 - Andy Kershaw
note: * missing from Apr.27 broadcast the songs a2.Fanta / a3.Tiedo

Various Baaba Maal media:

  • Jamma Jengii (2001.May.04 - BBC TWO Later... with Jools Holland) - video brilliant!!
    to BBC: really only one song recorded?? WHY??
  • Musique Traditionnelle (Balade) - video unknown source 
  • Recent 2016.Nov (?) acoustic performance in Nouakchott, Mauritania (pt.1 - pt.2)

reminder, please don't never ever forget:

"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Nooran Sisters - 2017.Sep.01 - BBC Radio

Now let's fly over to another par of our globe.

The Nooran Sisters from India 2017.Sep at BBC Radio Studios
The Nooran Sisters - Jyoti and Sultana - are a Sufi singing duo from Sham Chaurasia gharana of classical music.
The sisters were trained for 10 years by their father, Ustad Gulshan Mir, a renowned Sufi singer of the 70's. Music was an integral part of their childhood because of their grandmother, Swarn Noora. The family fell on very hard times after Swarn Noora died, it was very difficult to arrange food as well, to survive their father used to give music lessons. Although it took away him from Mir's music, it helped his family to pass the bad times.
When Sultana was seven and Jyoti five, he discovered their talent of singing. "They were playing, and in jest, singing a Bulleh Shah kalam they had heard from their grandmother, Bibi Nooran." As per Mir, they didn't miss any beat and sang professionally with tabla and harmonium.
Iqbal Mahal, a Canadian music promoter, discovered the sisters in 2010. They got the fame from the MTV Talent hunt series in India MTV Sound Trippin, with their song "Tung Tung", and later, MTV unplugged series, Coke Studio.
The sisters opened the evening with the rendition of "Allah Hoo"* and belted out popular Sufi songs, including "Dama Dum Mast Qalandar", "Jugni" and many others. They also sang some of Jagjit Singh's Punjabi songs, including "Long Da Lashkara" and "Mitti Da Bawa". -- summary from wiki

*version of Allah Hoo by Sain Zahoor see Awards for World Music Concert (2006)

NOORAN-SISTERS-20170901_Won3 Session BBC

2017.Sep.01: BBC Radio 3 World on 3 and Asian Network
1.Nooran Sisters - Yaar Di Gali (BBC Live Session)
2.Nooran Sisters - Jee Ve Sohaneya (BBC Live Session)
3.Mahalakshmi Iyer & Udit Narayan - E Ajnabi (from Dil Se... OST, Venus Records India)
4.Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Akhian Noon Chain Na Aawe - Sorrows, Vol. 69 (Star CD)
5.Nooran Sisters - Akhian Noon Chain Nah Awe - NFAK cover (BBC Live Session)
6.Nooran Sisters - Dam Dam Mast Qalander - NFAK cover (BBC Live Session)
note: in between tracks talk by World on 3 and Asian Network DJs, SPECIAL attention to the film Dil Se..., haven't seen it, but really want to and think can only highly recommended...


2015: Jindriye (digital track, Times Music, India)
2016: Jogan (digital track, Sony Music, India)
2016: Yaar Da Deewana (digital track, T-Series aka. Super Cassettes, India)
2016: Prince Ghuman feat. Nooran Sisters - Mahi (digital track, Saregama, India)

reminder, please don't never ever forget:
"il faut me pardonner - you must forgive me"