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Throw Down Your Heart, Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Béla Fleck takes the banjo back to Africa on this ambitious new volume in his Acoustic Planet series. Released in conjunction with the documentary film directed by Fleck's brother Sascha Paladino, Throw Down Your Heart features Fleck recorded on the road in Mali, The Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Senegal. As he unearths ancient banjo (locally referred to as banza ) repertoire in rural Africa, he's joined by artists including South Africa's Vusi Mahlesela, Madagascan D'Gary, and Mali's Oumou Sangare and Afel Bocoum.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On this third chapter in Béla Fleck's intermittent Tales from the Acoustic Planet series (that began in ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Béla Fleck takes the banjo back to Africa on this ambitious new volume in his Acoustic Planet series. Released in conjunction with the documentary film directed by Fleck's brother Sascha Paladino, Throw Down Your Heart features Fleck recorded on the road in Mali, The Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Senegal. As he unearths ancient banjo (locally referred to as banza ) repertoire in rural Africa, he's joined by artists including South Africa's Vusi Mahlesela, Madagascan D'Gary, and Mali's Oumou Sangare and Afel Bocoum.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On this third chapter in Béla Fleck's intermittent Tales from the Acoustic Planet series (that began in 1994 when he was with Warner Brothers), Throw Down Your Heart is actually a soundtrack for a film of the same name which he produced, about traveling through Africa, recording with many musicians from that continent as he searched for the origins of the banjo. As varied as Fleck's solo records and his albums with the Flecktones have been, this is easily his most varied and unusual offering. The itinerant superpicker African sojourns with film and sound crew in tow, to record with over 40 different groups and individuals in places like Uganda, Tanzania, Senegal, the Gambia, and Mali. These 18 tracks reflect the wide varieties of Fleck's experience to be sure, but far more importantly, the wildly diverse musical traditions there. Some tracks feature musicians fairly well-known internationally -- such as D'Gary, Baba Maal, Vusi Mahlasela, Toumani Diabaté, Bassekou Kouyate, Oumou Sangare (his host for the Malian leg of the trip, etc) -- in ensemble pieces as well as in intimate duets, and also with musicians largely unknown outside of their homelands. The latter grouping includes the amazing vocalist and kalimba player Anania, and a women's group from Nakisenyi who were the entourage's cooks, the Luo Cultural Association in Uganda, and the Muwewesu Xylophone Group, who play a gargantuan marimba that takes eight people to play as the townspeople join in on various flutes, fiddles, and percussion on a track called "Wairzenziante." It's not a cop-out to say that this is unlike any recording you've ever heard, and resembles less a Béla Fleck recording than one of amazing African music that he was fortunate enough to be able to produce and play on. The music here is simply enchanting, utterly delightful, and welcoming to the listener in all its guises. And it's consistent. No attempt was made by Fleck to create anything exotic. In fact, given that his greatest inspirations for making this record were the wonderful field recordings he'd heard of banjo music from Africa, he deserves credit for accomplishing his aim, and keeping his aim simple and folksy. The music on this set is transformative; it is not at all revisionist, nor a conscious attempt at some jive kind of colonial fusion. It is simply the record of one American musician meeting those of another continent for the express purpose of making music together, learning their tunes, and sharing the magic of creation and expression between them. As a recording, is quality, in sound and presentation, and the wonderfully detailed notes by Fleck annotating each track, are exemplary.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/3/2009
  • Label: Rounder / Umgd
  • UPC: 011661063426
  • Catalog Number: 610634
  • Sales rank: 53,933


Disc 1
  1. 1 Tulinesangala (Uganda) - Nakisenyi Women's Group (2:50)
  2. 2 Kinetsa (Madagascar) (4:16)
  3. 3 Ah Ndiya (Mali) (3:49)
  4. 4 Kabbi (Tanzania) (2:30)
  5. 5 Angelina (Uganda) - Luo Cultural Association (2:51)
  6. 6 D'Gary Jam (Madagascar,Uganda,Mali,Senegal,South Africa,Tanzania,Camero (6:15)
  7. 7 Throw Down Your Heart (Mali) (5:07)
  8. 8 Thula Mama (South Africa) - Vusi Mahlasela (3:59)
  9. 9 Wairenziante (Uganda) - Muwewesu Xylophone Group (2:55)
  10. 10 Buribalal (Mali) (4:32)
  11. 11 Zawose (Tanzania) - The Zawose Family (3:20)
  12. 12 Ajula/Mbamba (The Gambia) - Jatta Family (4:31)
  13. 13 Pakugyenda Balebauo (Tanzania) - Warema Masiaga ChaCha (2:58)
  14. 14 Jesus Is The Only Answer (Uganda) - Ateso Jazz Band (3:24)
  15. 15 Matitu (Tanzania) (4:19)
  16. 16 Mariam (Mali) (3:51)
  17. 17 Djorolen (Mali) (5:04)
  18. 18 Dunia Haina Wema/Thumb Fun (Tanzania) (7:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Béla Fleck Primary Artist, Banjo
Baaba Maal Vocals, Guest Appearance
Xavier Percussion
Mali Guest Appearance
Oumou Sangare Vocals, Guest Appearance
D'Gary Guitar
Afel Bocoum Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Guest Appearance
Sekouba Diabate Djembe
Nabintou Diakite Background Vocals
Jojo Kuo Drums
Hamma Sankare Vocals, Calabash
Djali Madi Tounkara Guitar
Eibur Stepney Manuel Track Performer
Toumani Diabaté Kora, Guest Appearance
Vusi Mahlasela Guitar, Vocals, Guest Appearance
Sékou Bembya Diabaté Djembe
Bassekou Kouyate Guest Appearance, Ngoni
Richard Bona Electric Bass, Vocals, Guest Appearance
Yoro Cisse Njarka Fiddle
Casey Driessen Fiddle
Zoumana Tereta Sokou
Habib "Dia" Sangaré Bolon
Alou Kouloubali Shaker
Alamutoi Track Performer
Obita Alfred Track Performer
Ateso Jazz Band Guest Appearance
Kaiga Ayubu Track Performer
Obonyo B Track Performer
Sekou Bah Bass, Bass Guitar
Namuwaya Bayati Track Performer
Fadhili Bbata Percussion
Okoth Bosco Track Performer
Warema Masiaga ChaCha Percussion, Vocals, Bowed Lyre, Guest Appearance
Chibete The Zawose Family Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Baisi David Track Performer
Kizza David Track Performer
Opio David Track Performer
Muwaya Faizo Track Performer
Ekisa Fatina Track Performer
Kakaire Fatuma Track Performer
Mutesi Fauza Track Performer
Muwaya Faziri Track Performer
Xavier Martial François Percussion, Vocals, Hand Clapping
Oluka J.K. Track Performer
Eyabu James Track Performer
Angelic Jarju Track Performer
Jatta Family Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Frederick Jatta Track Performer
Jil Ekona Jatta Track Performer
Remi Jatta Track Performer
Sega Jatta Track Performer
Elungat Joseph Track Performer
Obonyo Joseph Track Performer
Ongiji Joseph Track Performer
Ogwang K Track Performer
Henry Kaage Track Performer
Eriyabu Kabi Track Performer
Andrea S. Kaluma Track Performer
Salimu Kasadha Track Performer
Badiru Kiranda Track Performer
Eriyada Kisubi Track Performer
Kuzaima Kisubi Track Performer
Hasani Kitanda Track Performer
Badstuter Lawl Track Performer
Aryakitoi Levi Track Performer
Luo Cultural Association Track Performer, Guest Appearance
Aromo Macref Track Performer
Sulai Maganda Track Performer
Sowali Magumba Track Performer
Atto Mangret Track Performer
Akello Maria Track Performer
Khalifan Matitu Marimbas, Guest Appearance
Ojobi Michael Track Performer
Kyakulaga Mosesi Track Performer
Wagaluka Mukose Track Performer
Manisuli Musubo Track Performer
Aramanzani Musulo Track Performer
Karimu Musulo Track Performer
Musaiduma Mutesi Track Performer
Birali Muwaya Track Performer
Tibita Muwaya Track Performer
Muwewesu Xylophone Group Guest Appearance
Musulo Muzamiru Track Performer
Muwewesi Muzamiru Track Performer
Kasifa Nabirye Track Performer
Safina Nabirye Track Performer
Nakisenyi Women's Group Guest Appearance
S Nampina Track Performer
Masitula Namudola Track Performer
Zilifa Namukonge Track Performer
Kasifa Namukose Track Performer
Medina Namunana Track Performer
Adiya Nangobi Track Performer
Anania Ngoglia Vocals, Thumb Piano, Guest Appearance
Saadati Nkulega Track Performer
Rashid Ntamu Track Performer
Nahman Ojwee Track Performer
Robert Kakaire Track Performer
Ruth Akello Track Performer
Omocha S Track Performer
Dhikusoka Sabasityano Track Performer
Abdoulie Saine Track Performer
Haruna Samake Trio Guest Appearance
Joseph Sambou Track Performer
Naser Sambou Track Performer
Phgusiteh Sambou Track Performer
Madou Sanogo Djembe
Waiswa Sdhuma Track Performer
Therese Senghore Track Performer
Souleymane Sidibe Karakeb
Obello Simon Track Performer
Nyelo Stephen Track Performer
Olinga Stephen Track Performer
Mutesi Sumaya Track Performer
Sulaiman Talyaka Track Performer
Ochira Michael Toco Track Performer
Aisha Tungu Track Performer
Vincent Komakech Track Performer
Vincent Oloya Track Performer
Bulaimu Wandera Track Performer
Magidu Wansolo Track Performer
Charles Were Track Performer
Chiku Hukwe Zawose Track Performer
Julie Hukwe Zawose Track Performer
Lucas Ubi Zawose Track Performer
Pendo Hukwe Zawose Track Performer
Tabu Hukwe Zawose Track Performer
Nabintou Diakite Background Vocals
Martial Francois Percussion
Habib Sangare Bolon
Barou Diallo Bass Guitar
Alou Coulibaly Shaker
Technical Credits
Oumou Sangare Arranger, Composer
David Bennett Management
Afel Bocoum Composer
Richard Dodd Mastering, Remastering
Béla Fleck Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
Dave Sinko Engineer
Djali Madi Tounkara Composer
Benogo Diakite Contributor
Banning Eyre Producer
Vusi Mahlasela Composer
Richard Battaglia Engineer
Damon Whittemore Engineer
Yves Wernert Engineer
Traditional Composer
Chibite Arranger
Robert Battaglia Engineer
Ateso Jazz Band Arranger
Wellington Bowler Engineer
Warema Masiaga ChaCha Composer
Jatta Family Arranger
Luo Cultural Association Arranger
Khalifan Matitu Arranger
Muwewesu Xylophone Group Composer
Nakisenyi Women's Group Arranger
Anania Ngoglia Composer
Nana Ofori Atta Producer
Segun Oguntola Producer
Sascha Paladino Director, Producer
Paul Riehle Cover Design
Haruna Samake Contributor
Brian Siskind Sound Effects
Nichole Smaglick Producer
Ernest Radianasolo Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another Bela Adventure

    There may be banjo players as good as Bela Fleck but no one has taken the instrument further afield.Paul Simon's Graceland pales beside his exploration of African sounds. Some of the tracks sound like nothing else I have ever heard. However, the project probably could have run about 10-15 minutes shorter and had more punch as a result.Still, this is daring music and adds to Fleck's reputation as a sonic adventurer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews