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Album Review

The Lost Album resurrects six lengthy and largely acoustic tracks recorded in 1980 by West African singer Salif Keita and his longtime collaborator, guitarist Kante Manfila. Musical partners since the late '60s, first in the Rail Band and then in Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux, Keita and Manfila seem to be moving away from that group's somewhat westernized Afro-pop sound with these sessions. This is not to say that these are all traditional African musical forms: although the hypnotic "Toura Makan" sounds like it could have fit on one of the Nonesuch Explorers collections, Manfila's opening showcase "I Djo Fama" begins with a double-tracked acoustic guitar figure that's been processed to sound like Mike Oldfield's trademark half-speed guitar experiments. The arrangements are stripped down and the production medium-fi at best; some percussion, kalimba, a bit of trumpet, and a female vocal chorus make occasional appearances (frustratingly, there are no personnel or recording credits), but throughout, the focus remains on Keita's spellbinding vocals. Free of the synthesized gloss of his breakthrough solo albums from later in the decade, The Lost Album features a young Keita in a slightly rougher but warmly intimate musical setting.

Customer Reviews

Intimate recording

Great morning music for the age of anxiety. Sounds fill the cracks of vacant space like soul morter.

Lost Keita, Go Back To Your Roots

your 1987 albam was moving I have just last week descovered your music and feel in love with it!! Your one of the greats! I love cono that has to be your best song!! I'm american and can't understand a word of it but I can feel it! I wan't to say go back bring us a albam like soro!!!


Born: 1947 in Farabanah, Guinea

Genre: World

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

Manfila was born into a jali family and played balafon and guitar as a child. He joined Les Ballets Africains, moved to Bamako during the '60s and joined the Rail Band, which featured Salif Keita and Mory Kante at the time. He and Keita moved over to Les Ambassadeurs in the early '70s, beginning a fruitful collaborative relationship. Both pursued solo careers...
Full Bio
The Lost Album, Kante Manfila
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Customer Ratings