Bowmboï

Bowmboï

5.0 1
by Rokia Traoré
     
 

Utterly iconoclastic, Rokia Traoré is an African singer-songwriter with an extraordinary taste for nuance and a healthy disinterest in conventional pop stardom. A cosmopolitan child of a diplomatic family, she's deeply in touch with her roots but more than capable of thinking critically about what those roots mean in the globalized 21st century. Mali's music, it's…  See more details below

Overview

Utterly iconoclastic, Rokia Traoré is an African singer-songwriter with an extraordinary taste for nuance and a healthy disinterest in conventional pop stardom. A cosmopolitan child of a diplomatic family, she's deeply in touch with her roots but more than capable of thinking critically about what those roots mean in the globalized 21st century. Mali's music, it's hypnotic rhythms and pentatonic scales, form the backbone of her songs, but they drift along their own folksy way, suffused with longing and distance. Traoré's third disc, Bowmboi, whose title refers to a lullaby her mother once sang, is the most fully realized effort from this 27-year-old, embracing not only the dreamlike sounds of her debut and its acclaimed follow-up, Wanita, but also the more rhythmic, up-tempo abandon that characterizes her live shows. Around her delicately stunned acoustic guitar buzzes the kamele ngoni, the lyre-like hunter's harp of southern Mali, and the ancient xylophone called the balafon. Habib Koite's mix of roots instrumentation and Western pop styles is a close analogue to Traoré's, but her music has much less of a French fixation, despite her living in Amiens. Western strings creep in on a few tracks, played by the Kronos Quartet, but Bowmboi is often less calculated and rarefied. It is, though, an album whose stark naturalness demands a quiet mind; its focus and beauty indeed seem capable of stopping time.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
For her third outing, Rokia Traore refines the work on her first two discs. In other words, she's a Malian singer/songwriter, aware of her country's roots, but hardly bound by them. She's not a griotte, and she's not following in the Wassoulou footsteps of, say, Oumou Sangare. With a gentle, lulling voice and acoustic instrumentation she tells her tales. Even on the faster material, such as "Mariama," where she duets with Ousame Sacko, there's a mildness -- although it covers some steel. The true surprises here are the pair of cuts where she works with the Kronos Quartet, making for a combination that works far more effectively than anyone might expect. "Manian," for example, is string-heavy, but still utterly natural, and quite ineffably West African. Traore has become an accomplished writer, one whose reflective words and melodies seep into the brain and stay there. With this she's turned the corner to major international stardom.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2004
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597985221
catalogNumber:
79852

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rokia Traoré   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Kronos Quartet   Strings
Ousmane Sacko   Vocals
Hank Dutt   Viola
David Harrington   Violin
Steve Shehan   Percussion
John Sherba   Violin
Jennifer Culp   Cello
Amada Diarra   Balafon
Christophe "Disco" Minck   Bass,Guitar
Ballaké Sissoko   N'Goni
Adama Coulibaly   Percussion
Sidiki Camara   Percussion
Mahamane Diabate   N'Goni
Andra Kouyate   Percussion,Ngoma,N'Goni
Baba Sissoko   Ngoma
Djibril Camara   Bolon
Ousmane Sacko   Vocals
Adama Diarra   Percussion
Mamah Diabate   Ngoma
Alou Coulibaly   Percussion
Charlotte Dipanda   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ousmane Sacko   Composer
Judith Sherman   Producer,Audio Production
Rokia Traoré   Arranger,Composer,translation
Philippe Teissier Du Cros   Engineer
Stephen Prutsman   String Arrangements
Thomas Weill   Producer,Audio Production

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Bowmboï 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gorgeous music - every song is complex and moving. She is an excellent singer and writer, with lyrics that approach poetry.