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The Mansa of Mali - A Retrospective

Salif Keita

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Album Review

The ten cuts on this anthology range from the late-'70s "Mandjou," with its stinging guitar riffs, throbbing organ, and gorgeous sax backing, to the spectacular "Souareba," in which Keita's vibrant vocals are backed by electric drums and synthesizers, plus "Tenin," from the LP Ko-Yan. This was produced by Joe Zawinul and included his contributions on keyboards, assistance from the great Antillean bassist Etienne M'Bappe, and appearances by many other African music superstars. The anthology covers Keita's three Mango releases, plus the LP L'Enfant Lion. While it's not a substitute for the complete LPs, those unaware of Keita's vocal prowess and mastery will hopefully be persuaded to get the complete package by this fine sampler.

Biography

Born: 1949 in Djoliba, Mali

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Salif Keita gave up a lot to pursue his dreams of a career in music. Born to royal lineage, with ancestral roots going back to Soundjata Keita, the founder of the Malian Empire in 1240, Keita was disowned by his father after announcing his plans to play music. Keita's dreams, however, were too strong to be shattered. Moving to the capitol city of Bamako in 1967, he was soon playing in nightclubs with one of his brothers. Within two years, he was invited to join the Rail Band. A popular, government-sponsored...
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The Mansa of Mali - A Retrospective, Salif Keita
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