Sarala

Sarala

by Hank Jones

CD

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Overview

Sarala

This must surely be one of the most unusual items in Hank Jones' catalog. Few people would probably associate Jones -- one of the finest pianists that jazz has ever known, and a man who has played with everyone from Charlie Parker to Tony Williams -- with contemporary Afro-pop; yet this album is an infectiously grooving example of just that, featuring the remarkably versatile pianist alongside a stellar cast of musicians from the West African nation of Mali. At first glance, the Malian pop music that is featured on this cross-cultural outing would seem to be light-years from the kind of harmonically sophisticated jazz that Jones has played throughout most of his long and distinguished career. The chord changes that ordinarily undergird Jones' elegantly constructed solos are conspicuously absent from Malian music, which derives much of its unique flavor from the complex rhythmic interplay between electric guitars, keyboards, and traditional African instruments. Nonetheless, Jones plays this material as if he were born to it. His solos, while brief, beautifully straddle the line between his own personal style and the equally distinctive sound of his Malian bandmates; and his lines mesh perfectly with the mesmerizing rhythmic accompaniment provided by the rest of the ensemble. And quite an ensemble it is; some of the biggest names in Malian pop are featured on this album under the direction of leader Cheick-Tidiane Seck, and traditional instruments like the n'goni lute and balafon xylophone are given plenty of solo space. In addition, every track features a traditional Malian praise-song delivered by a powerful lead vocalist and a full complement of backup singers. An unlikely partnership, perhaps, but one that yields extraordinary results.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/16/1996
Label: Verve France
UPC: 0731452878328
catalogNumber: 528783

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Hank Jones   Primary Artist,Piano
Cheick Tidiane Seck   Primary Artist,Percussion,Hammond Organ,Stick,Tambourine,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Track Performer,Doum-doum
Ousmane Kouyate   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Kante Manfila   Guitar
Amina Annabi   Vocals
Sekouba Diabate   Bass Guitar
Assitan Keita   Percussion,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Mama Kouyate   Vocals
Jorge Amorim   Percussion
Djely-Moussa Condé   Kora
Kassé-Mady Diabaté   Vocals
Sékou Bembya Diabaté   Bass Guitar
Tom Diakité   Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Lansine Kouyate   Balafon
Djeli Moussa Kouyaté   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Fatoumata Kouyaté   Vocals
Moriba Koïta   Lute,Track Performer
Moussa Sissikho   Djembe
Eric Vinceno   Double Bass
Aly Wagué   Flute,Track Performer
César Anot   Percussion,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping
Manian Damba   Background Vocals
Maré Sanogo   Djembe,Doum-doum

Technical Credits

Jean-Philippe Allard   Executive Producer
Cheick Tidiane Seck   Arranger,Director,Producer
Moussa Sissikho   Tama
Philippe Abadie   Engineer

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