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Wati
     

Wati

by Amadou & Mariam
 
When it comes to Amadou & Mariam, the Blind Couple of Mali, hearing is believing. Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia have settled into a comfortable groove with Wati, their third international release. Touring Europe and the world has opened up their sound, which, while still centered on the bluesy desert guitar of their homeland, now bears accents ranging from

Overview

When it comes to Amadou & Mariam, the Blind Couple of Mali, hearing is believing. Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia have settled into a comfortable groove with Wati, their third international release. Touring Europe and the world has opened up their sound, which, while still centered on the bluesy desert guitar of their homeland, now bears accents ranging from Booker T. & the M.G.s–style soul to North African flamencoisms ("Ilbiwa"), roadhouse piano ("Sarama"), and Latin rumba ("Baroni," featuring French Latino rapper Sergent Garcia). The effect is a lot like an accomplished garage band, straight outta Timbuktu. Organs swell, trap drums rattle and roar, and Bagayoko's guitar rings out with some razor-sharp lead lines. His partner, Mariam, declaims in an utterly typical Malian drone, high and fluttery, lending this funky, bluesy set an exotic edge. It's a wide-ranging swath of sound, but unlike other world-fusion concepts seemingly saddled to well-meaning local talents, it's never beyond the pair's control. The Blind Couple of Mali are international stars, and the impressive head of steam they build up on this winner of an album (and in concert, it should be noted) only reinforces that.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
If you think Mali is all about the kora or the Super Rail Band, you need to take a listen to Amadou & Mariam, a blind married couple who take Malian music in a whole different direction. They keep to the bluesy, pentatonic root that's the heart of the desert sound of Mali, but bring it toward the West, even letting guitars howl here and there and funking things up with some lovely keyboard work. Amadou & Mariam sing both separately and together (indeed, they're at their strongest together, when the two voices can work off each other on songs like "Chauffeurs"), and they're both strong writers, using rhythm as much as melody for a sound that's remarkably down-home. There's nothing complex about it -- perhaps the Bamako equivalent of a bar band, albeit a very good one. "Sarama," for example, rocks wonderfully and hypnotically, and wouldn't sound out of place in a roadhouse, getting the crowd up and dancing. Perhaps it's because they don't sound especially African in their approach to music -- allowing the roots to be just one part of the whole -- that they haven't received the praise they deserve.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2003
Label:
Circular Moves
UPC:
0016728701129
catalogNumber:
287011
Rank:
258517

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amadou & Mariam   Primary Artist
Valentin Clastrier   Hurdy-Gurdy
Jean-Philippe Rykiel   Piano,Keyboards
Cheick Tidiane Seck   Marimbas,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes
Moriba Koïta   N'Goni
Sergent Garcia   Vocals
Parvin Javdan   Vocals
Amadou Bagayoko   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Mariam Doumbia   Vocals,Background Vocals
Stephane San Juan   Percussion,Drums,Darbouka,Hand Clapping
Laurent Griffon   Bass,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Djourou Diallo   Flute
Mathieu Chédid   Guitar
Ibrahim Maalouf   Trumpet
Boubacar Dembele   Djembe,Cabasa,Calebasse
Cédric Lesouquet   Double Bass
Sonia Sala   Background Vocals
Ousmane Dicko   Guitar,Background Vocals
Matu   Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer

Technical Credits

Daniel Richard   Executive Producer
Myriam Eddaira   Engineer
Amadou & Mariam   Composer,Producer
Sergent Garcia   Composer
Amadou Bagayoko   Composer
Mariam Doumbia   Composer
Boubacar Dembele   Programming,Contributor
Marc Antoine Moreau   Producer

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