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The Silimbo Passage

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Album Review

Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita has assembled a multi-national ensemble to work with him on this release. There's his sister on vocals, his Gambian brother on percussion, as well as an Italian bassist and an Egyptian violinist. It's exciting and lovely, very much based in his tradition, but also so much more. Violinist Samy Bishai makes his presence known immediately on the opening track "Bimo," where his flourishes bring a completely different, exotic atmosphere to the piece. Keita uses a number of tunings, and his secret weapon is a double neck kora that gets an impressive airing on "Chelima." Bassist Davide Mantovani gets to show his chops on "Dingba Don," but the album is very much a group effort. For all that she's featured as a vocalist, Binta Suso isn't as good a singer as her brother, who has an unassuming but convincing voice. It's a superb disc that offers plenty of variety with touches of jazz, African funk, as well as Afro-pop. There's plenty to cheer about here, for this band doesn't just show potential — it delivers.

Customer Reviews


Have you ever spent a soft warm evening among friends, seated on the earth beneath a spreading tree, playing and singing together? No? Then here is your chance.


Born: 1977 in Senegal

Genre: World

Years Active:

Seckou Keita is one of the leaders of the newest generation of African traditional musicians, who not only make use of the influences of their predecessors on the world music scene who introduced the world to the African kora, but also have a tendency to fuse the traditional forms and instruments with those of other cultures. Born in 1977 in Senegal, Keita was an early performer even by local standards, and bypassed traditional rules against performance by members' ruling lineages (such as the Keitas)...
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The Silimbo Passage, Seckou Keita SKQ
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