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Bowmboï

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
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...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597985221
  • Catalog Number: 79852
  • Sales rank: 112,679

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 M'Bifo (6:15)
  2. 2 Sara (5:57)
  3. 3 Kôté Don (5:39)
  4. 4 Mariama (5:37)
  5. 5 Manian (6:04)
  6. 6 Déli (6:01)
  7. 7 Niènafing (3:38)
  8. 8 Kèlè Mandi (4:09)
  9. 9 Kanou (6:53)
  10. 10 Bowmboï (9:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rokia Traoré Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, 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
Tony Cousins Mastering
Judith Sherman Producer, Audio Production
Rokia Traoré Arranger, Composer, translation
Philippe Teissier Du Cros Engineer
Mark Willsher Digital Editing
Stephen Prutsman String Arrangements
Thomas Weill Producer, Audio Production
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Haunting album

    Gorgeous music - every song is complex and moving. She is an excellent singer and writer, with lyrics that approach poetry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews