Moffou

Moffou

by Salif Keita
     
 

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Salif Keita is bound to please legions of fans with Moffou, a breathtaking predominately acoustic album that feels classic from the first notes. The always adventurous Keita, cosmopolitan African ambassador to the core, has often traded on experiments, from the suave francofonie of Sosie to the blistering Funkadelicized rock of See more details below

Overview

Salif Keita is bound to please legions of fans with Moffou, a breathtaking predominately acoustic album that feels classic from the first notes. The always adventurous Keita, cosmopolitan African ambassador to the core, has often traded on experiments, from the suave francofonie of Sosie to the blistering Funkadelicized rock of Papa. But on Moffou, he plays to his strengths: his earthy brand of pan-Africanism, a rock-solid band, and the gorgeous ululations that earned him the sobriquet "the Golden Voice of Mali" -- all of which are in full effect on the addictive "Yamore," which features Cape Verde's queen of morna, Cesaria Evora. Mysterious and stately with his distinctive albino complexion, Keita at last radiates these qualities on disc, thanks to the sympathetic production that emphasizes the timeless qualities of Malian music. Hey, it worked for Ali Farka Toure. His longtime guitar-hero compatriots, Kante Manfila and Djelly Moussa Kouyate, are remarkably restrained throughout Moffou, speaking of time, distance, desert light, and heat with the occasional shimmering glissando. The wide-open spaces give Keita's voice -- whether a falsetto whisper on "Iniagibe," a strident muezzin wail on "Madan," or pushing along a subtly hypnotic groove on "Moussoulou" -- its proper berth. Much as Keita (and Afro-pop fans) loved his work with Joe Zawinul, Vernon Reid, Wayne Shorter, and others, this is the way he should be heard. Welcome home, Salif Keita.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
Sometimes a return to basics can be the best way for an artist to move forward. For Salif Keita, that's definitely the case with Moffou. In spite of using a hefty number of musicians (17, plus six backing vocalists), the sound is very stripped-down. Even the supple electric guitar work of Djeli Moussa Kouyaté is mellow and low-key. The real beauty here is Keita's voice, carefully framed and used to maximum effect. High, almost piercing, it's a gorgeous instrument that can ride and transform a melody, whether the lulling gentleness of "Yamore" or the more upbeat -- but never frenzied -- "Iniagige." Overall, it's a record of swaying, seductive gentleness, one perfectly suited to Keita's style. After a few artistic missteps, he needs an album like this to reaffirm who he is and give a renewal to his sound. While it's strongly rooted, it's by no means strictly a Malian roots album; that's never been all of his music by any means. While ineffably West African, there's a lovely light sheen to the production that could only be European, and serves the sound well, smoothing it out but never losing the intimate flavor that's at the album's heart. Moffou reaffirms Keita's star status, and his reputation as one of the world's most glorious voices.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/17/2002
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0044001690624
catalogNumber:
016906
Rank:
102092

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Salif Keita   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Kante Manfila   Acoustic Guitar
Cesaria Evora   Vocals
Mino Cinelu   Percussion
Souleymanne Doumbia   Conga
Guy N'Sangue   Electric Bass
Djeli Moussa Kouyaté   Electric Guitar
Benoît Urbain   Accordion
Arnaud Devos   Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Gong,Marimbas,Steel Drums,Zheng
Guy Sangue   Electric Bass
Hadja Kouyate   Background Vocals
David Aubaile   Flute
Jean-Louis Solans   Cavaquinho
Sayon Sissoko   N'Goni

Technical Credits

Salif Keita   Producer,Liner Notes
Kante Manfila   Arranger
Stephanie Caisson   Engineer
Daniel Richard   Executive Producer
Freddy Zerbib   Producer
Timour Cardenas   Engineer
Jean Lamoot   Producer
Jérôme Witz   Paintings
Laurent Bizot   Legal Advisor

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