Sabou

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Guinean griot Mory Kanté has had numerous claims to fame -- he was the beguiling singer who got Salif Keita kicked out of the Rail Band and the first African artist to sell over a million copies in Europe, with his inescapable "Yéké Yéké" in 1988. Kanté was also one of the first Mande musicians to perform pop music on traditional instruments such as the kora and balafon, and mix these instruments in electronics-heavy Western settings. Sabou, a delightful return for this master, throws most of those firsts out the window: It's nearly completely acoustic, indebted not to Western song forms but to the cyclical logic of griot music, and highly unlikely to cross over. That ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Guinean griot Mory Kanté has had numerous claims to fame -- he was the beguiling singer who got Salif Keita kicked out of the Rail Band and the first African artist to sell over a million copies in Europe, with his inescapable "Yéké Yéké" in 1988. Kanté was also one of the first Mande musicians to perform pop music on traditional instruments such as the kora and balafon, and mix these instruments in electronics-heavy Western settings. Sabou, a delightful return for this master, throws most of those firsts out the window: It's nearly completely acoustic, indebted not to Western song forms but to the cyclical logic of griot music, and highly unlikely to cross over. That is, cross over beyond the sizable audience he already has -- and these masses will be delighted. Delivering a sound that's more intricate, heartfelt, and humane than the overprocessed worldbeat with which he made his fame, Kanté cannily and satisfyingly answers a need that Afro-pop fans have felt for some time. Don't think of Sabou as more "authentic" -- an international artist like Kanté doesn't forget everything he's learned about pop music in 25 years of performing. Sabou is crisp, catchy, stuffed with varied sounds, including flutes, guitars, kora, balafon, and a battery of percussion. It's export-quality griot music, from an artist who knows the market better than most.
All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
For many years, Mory Kanté's beefed-up African music was the soundtrack of European dancefloors. This time around, however, the Guinean has gone back to his roots for an acoustic album that showcases his talents as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. It's every bit the tour de force it should be, too, very powerfully rooted, bristling with good material, and with Kanté himself never sounding better, the griot voice curling around notes and lines in his distinctive wail. He's ably supported by others, most notably Adama Condé, whose solos on the deep, xylophone-like balafon are a delight to the ear. But much of the credit lies with Kanté himself, who handles many of the instruments. Whether it's the relentless rhythm of "Mama" or the delicacy of "Nafiya," he's in complete control, letting the music frame his voice and leaving plenty of space for the songs to breathe. That he's a remarkable talent is already beyond question, given his resumé. But this stands head and shoulders above his previous work, some of which has seemed anonymous. Every note of this is personal and sounds that way, performed with joy, great love, and care. He addresses Africa's problems and potential solutions on the title cut, and the power of love in "Diananko," ideas that delve beyond most Western songs but fall well within the scope of a griot and a man concerned with his Mande past and future. With this record, Kanté has rejuvenated his career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/2004
  • Label: Riverboat
  • UPC: 605633003420
  • Catalog Number: 330034
  • Sales rank: 148,674

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mory Kanté Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Balafon, Darbouka, Kora, Cavaquinho, Djembe, Bolon, Cabasa, korontiere, Doundoumba, Accompaniment, Cabasa, Electro-Acoustic Bass, Pan Pipes, Balan, Calebasse, Cloche
Mohamed Bangoura Djembe, Pan Pipes
Moriba Koïta N'Goni, Ngoni
Adama Condé Balafon, Soloist
Mohamed Alpha Camara Conga
Babagalle Kante Flute
Gerard Poumaroux Bolon
Technical Credits
Mory Kanté Arranger, Producer, Contributor, Liner Notes
Lucy Duran Liner Notes
Moussa Sissikho Tama
Jean-Pierre Chalbos Mastering
Moussa Sissoko Tama
Jacky Reggan Engineer
Nicolas Atlan Engineer
Jean Sébastian Dupuis Mastering
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