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When it comes to Mali's electric outfits, you'll be hard put to find a more sinewy sound than that of blind couple Amadou & Mariam on Tje Ni Mousso ("Man and Woman"). Three-chord garage riffs meet Malian desert polyrhythms in an utterly explosive encounter, and the band makes even the most angular meters rock as naturally to Western ears as any 4/4 Rolling Stones tune. Tough, slinky guitar and bass lines soar together as hot, funky horns and a host of your favorite vintage '70s organs -- Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond -- give the tunes more color than a rainbow hanging over Bourbon Street. This is African yin and yang at its best, with the elfin-voiced Mariam stepping out solo on cuts such as "Djagnéba" and Amadou offering his mellow warble on "Dans ce Monde Troublé," only to come together and harmonize copasetically elsewhere. "Chantez-Chantez" chugs along like Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" set to a lean, mean blues shuffle. "Béki Miri" features Jethro Tull-style fluting over a Zeppelinesque riff as the rhythm section bumps and grinds along with some slow, hearty funk. "Bali Maou" and "Si Ni Kan" catch some Caribbean carnival spirit from across the ocean, while "C'est Comme Ça" rides a subtle reggae groove. Senegal's cosmopolitan Wasis Diop offers backing vocals on "Be'smi Lah" that rumble around Mariam like an earthquake. Of all the Malian sounds finding their ways to foreign shores, this hip duo is easily one of the most exciting. Don't let it slip by.
Performance CreditsAmadou & Mariam Primary Artist
Manuel Soto spanish guitar
Valentin Clastrier Vielle
Wasis Diop Background Vocals
Alain Hato Flute,Bass Clarinet,Saxophone
Andrés Viáfara Trombone
Amazigh Kateb Background Vocals
Mamani Keita Background Vocals
Amadou Bagayoko Guitar,Vocals
Mariam Doumbia Vocals
Stephane San Juan Percussion,Drums
Laurent Griffon Bass
Jo Kaiat Piano
Ousmane Dicko Background Vocals
Matu Piano,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Technical CreditsMartin Davis translation
Laurent Jaïs Engineer
Francis Dordor Liner Notes
Amadou Bagayoko Producer