8 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

More robust than their European cousins, the harps of West Africa cascade through melodies with a hefty but graceful percussiveness. Master instrumentalists Ballaké Sissoko and Toumani Diabaté know exactly how to draw on this quality for all its ethereal and emotive magic, dancing their fingers upon the 21-string kora with deftness and power. Listen to the chiming, chamber music-like "Kita Kaira" and the cheery "Cheiknah Demba", and prepare to call the kora your new favourite instrument.

EDITORS’ NOTES

More robust than their European cousins, the harps of West Africa cascade through melodies with a hefty but graceful percussiveness. Master instrumentalists Ballaké Sissoko and Toumani Diabaté know exactly how to draw on this quality for all its ethereal and emotive magic, dancing their fingers upon the 21-string kora with deftness and power. Listen to the chiming, chamber music-like "Kita Kaira" and the cheery "Cheiknah Demba", and prepare to call the kora your new favourite instrument.

TITLE TIME
5:00
6:14
9:03
6:26
4:30
9:07
7:49
5:11

About Ballaké Sissoko

One of the modern-day masters of his instrument, Ballaké Sissoko is a Malian kora player who found success as a recording artist, generally in collaboration with others, most notably fellow Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté. Born in 1968 in Mali and based in Paris, France, he is the son of Jelimady Sissoko, a master of the kora. Sissoko first made a name for himself as a recording artist in 1999 with co-billing on the Toumani Diabaté album New Ancient Strings. The following year, he released the solo-billed album Déli (2000), which features his wife, the vocalist Mama Draba, among other musicians. Subsequent albums include Diario Mali (2003), a collaboration with Italian contemporary classical pianist Ludovico Einaudi; Tomora (2005); 3MA (2008), a collaboration with Moroccan oud player Driss el Maloumi and Madgascan valiha player Rajery; and Chamber Music (2009), a collaboration with French celloist Vincent Ségal. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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