Aug 20, 2013

RhoDeo 1333 Roots

Hello, we still find ourselves in an environment that gave rise to the worlds monotheistic religions be it on the Arabian peninsula, here we stay in the Saharan/Sahel band stretching from the West-Atlantic coast to the highlands of Ethiopia in the east of the continent, a vast area where fresh water tends to come at a premium , where the sun is burning down during daytime and nighttime can be cold, where the moon is the sole light source apart from the warming campfires. Is it any surprise then that singing and making music together lifted the spirits of those gathering in these desolate landscapes.

Today more from Mali, if his compatriot Ali Farka Toure evokes the sun-struck Delta ambiance of John Lee Hooker, today's artist has more in common with Robert Johnson’s fatalistic, dark-side-of-moon brand of sorcery. Like a lone troubadour at the crossroads, his storytelling is veiled in a complex, occult shade of indigo rather than plain blue. His keening voice is at once primal and seductive, steeped in tragedy but starved for life, and he wields his exquisite, kora-inflected guitar like a talisman again fate.  . .......N'joy

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Boubacar Traoré has gone from being the voice of Mali to obscurity, and bounced back to become an internationally respected singer, guitarist, and songwriter -- all in all, not a bad career arc. Born in Kayes, Mali in 1942 , in the sandy west of Mali, his passion as a boy was soccer, and his skills won him the nickname he still carries, "Kar Kar" (short for kari, kari -- meaning dribble). But music caught his attention, and the round ball faded into the background. He began sitting in with orchestras around Kayes (including the Orchestra Regional de Kayes), playing his guitar and singing, before moving to the country's capital, Bamako, to try his luck. In the '60s, following Mali's independence from France, it seemed as though he'd made the big time. Every morning Traoré would be on national radio, greeting the country with his song "Mali Twist," a love letter to the new nation. Everyone knew Kar Kar and his voice, although he never recorded, simply from from his appearances on the radio and in person.

That didn't pay the bills, though, and Traoré had a family to feed. So music moved onto the back burner as he became a tailor, a shopkeeper, a farmer, a schoolteacher, and even an agricultural agent away from Bamako to keep food on the table. He played music occasionally, but there were more urgent priorities in his life. Everything changed, however, in 1987, when his wife Pierrette died. With most of his children grown, Traoré began playing gigs again, being "rediscovered" in Mali. But now the place held bad memories for him and, he said, "I didn't want to be there any more." Instead, he traveled to France, where he worked construction jobs with other Malians, sharing the rough-and-ready boarding house system, making money to send home to support the rest of his family. He had his guitar, but rarely touched it until a British producer managed to track him down, taking him to England to record his first CD, Mariama. Two years later he returned to Mali, making his home once again in Bamako and playing regularly. His reappearance came as a shock to many Malians, who assumed his silence meant he'd died. Instead, he was more active than ever, writing songs in the pentatonic style of his native Kayes, not unlike the northern Mali style of his friend Ali Farka Touré. Mariama traveled well in world music circles, and even prompted Ry Cooder and David Lindley to suggest a collaboration, which never happened.

Instead, Traoré returned to Europe in 1992, recording Kar Kar, whose songs often touched on lost love, before undertaking another tour. He began dividing his time between Bamako, where he slowly built a house with his own hands, and Europe, where he toured frequently. But it wasn't until 1996 that he issued Sa Golo, his third album, in France, where his voice and guitar were accompanied by Baba Dramé on calabash. Three years later, Indigo in France put out Maciré, Traoré's fourth release, named for his brother, which saw his songs receive much fuller arrangements, thanks to help from rising Malian star Habib Koité and his band Bamada. The record included a song that had been big for Traoré in the '60s -- "Kar Kar Madison," his own take on the American dance craze, the Madison. In the early fall of 2000, Traoré undertook an extensive and well-received U.S. tour.

On Kongo Magni on World Village (Harmonia Mundi)—whose September 2005 release was accompanied by a 13-city tour—Boubacar’s realistic, if pessimistic, view of life and its struggles is finally granted a fragile silver lining. Although humanity is stalked by war and famine and daily life is marred by petty jealousies, God is nonetheless in his heaven and new children are born to take up the struggle. Accompanied by an empathetic small combo in which accordion and harmonica swirl around earthily resonant kamele ngoni (young person’s harp), balafon (xylophone) and traditional drums, shakers, and other percussion, Boubacar is revealed as philosophical, lyrical, resigned, guardedly hopeful, and gloriously human.

The five magnificent albums he has released since have made him a much-in-demand headliner world-wide. With a book about him (Mali Blues by Lieve Joris) already in print and a documentary retrospective (Je Chanterai Pour Toi, directed by Jacques Sarasin and produced by Jonathan Demme) about to be issued on DVD, 2005 is shaping up to be Boubacar’s watershed year. Boubacar latest fantastic album (Mali Denhou) was released in 2011. I'd say it's time to introduce him to those who haven't heard of him.

Boubacar figures in the book Mali Blues (Lonely Planet, Australia), by Belgian writer Lieve Joris. The book inspired Swiss film director Jacques Sarasin for the 2001 film Je chanterai pour toi ("I'll Sing For You") about Boubacar, released on DVD in 2005.  Along with several blues artists, he appeared in the film Blues Road Movie (Au Coeur du Blues)) by Louis Mouchet (2001).

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His recordings get regular comparisons to Robert Johnson and country blues in general, but it's Boubacar's sonarities of Appalachian and old country music; pure, plaintive and unadorned, he only lacks a train in the background to invoke the spirit of Jimmy Rodgers. He also reveals the depth and diversity of sounds possible on an unamplified, unprepared acoustic guitar. There is the click of the fingernail, the brush of the thumb on the bass lines, the harmonics, the scrape of skin over string, and the ringing of the high-pitches behind the frets, sounding like a small ensemble of subtle touches, alluding to without ever quoting the kora and the calabash. Traoré's singing is even more plaintive, his voice on the verge, but never breaking, as he tells the same stories told for centuries around the world. "I'd rather die than live without you." "Baby please don't go." "Been all 'round this world." "Death, oh death, I cannot escape you." These themes have nothing to do with a specific place like Africa, and this music is not only African. Boubacar Traoré, like Johnson, Rodgers, and Ali Farka Toure, is universal, and simply wonderful. Not just one of Mali's national treasures, but one of the world's.

Boubacar Traoré - Mariama (flac  248mb)

01 Mariama Kaba 5:39
02 Benidiagnamogo 7:06
03 Mantjini 6:30
04 Diarabi 5:30
05 Kele 6:16
06 Kayes-Ba 6:39
07 Khobe Na Touma 6:14
08 Pierrette 4:13

Boubacar Traoré - Mariama  (ogg 100mb)

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A nice album from one of the original Malian bluesmen -- the great Boubacar Traoré The style is vaguely similar to other Malian bluesers such as Ali Farka Touré: a relatively stripped-down format with little to no accompaniment. The accompaniment on the album comes from a calabash (gourd used as percussion). The combination of his voice and tender picking style leads to a rather sentimental mood for a few of the works, and the faster ones have more of that reminiscent John Lee Hooker/Ali Farka Touré style. The main difference is in the vocal abilities -- Boubacar is actually singing, much more than the others; melody is important to the vocal section of the songs. For fans of African blues, this would be a definite pick. For newcomers, it might not be a bad introduction at all, though more of an easing in could perhaps be found in Taj Mahal's efforts with Toumani Diabate.

Boubacar Traore - Sa Golo (flac 287mb)

01 Sa Golo 4:28
02 Mouso Teke Soma Ye 6:14
03 Yafa Ma 5:14
04 Dounia 6:33
05 Le Jour Du Trente Et Un 4:56
06 Ntaara Diagnamogo Fe 6:09
07 Ala Ta Deye Tignaye 5:12
08 Je Chanterai Pour Toi 5:57
09 Soundiata 6:09

Boubacar Traore - Sa Golo (ogg 128mb)

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Boubacar Traoré  (known also as Kar Kar) is a master of the singular, bluesy Malian style. Loping, gentle grooves with subtle polyrhythms run through these very personal songs delivered in Traoré 's plaintive, rugged tenor. The title track is particularly powerful, interweaving his love for his brother with his respect for General Soumare, one of the leaders of Mali independence. A moving work.

Boubacar Traoré - Maciré   (flac  301mb)

01 Duna Ma Yelema 3:53
02 Baba Drame 4:33
03 Les Enfants de Pierrette 5:39
04 Samba 3:06
05 Bebe Bo Nadero 4:32
06 Tunga Magni 5:13
07 Courir un Homme Qui Vous Aime 3:47
08 Macire 4:49
09 Serrer la Main 4:19
10 Kalilou 4:36
11 Solo de Kar Kar 3:15
12 Kar Kar Madison 5:39

Boubacar Traoré - Maciré  (ogg 125mb)

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