Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Baro by Habib Koité & Bamada, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

On his second Putumayo release, Koite is even more laid-back, commercially astute, and cosmopolitan than on his 1999 debut. The romantic opening track, "Batoumambe," with its booty-shaking rhumba conceits, would not be out of place on a Gipsy Kings album. The bandleader's husky, boyish tenor sings convincingly about the kind of love that does not end in marriage, the perplexities of dealing with money, Aesop-like animal parables, or damaging superstitions. But the most important song by far is his famous "Cigarette Abana," in which a young man is pressured by his friends to smoke, tries it, feels ill, and swears that he will never touch tobacco again. Given the overwhelming presence of Western tobacco cartels in emerging nations, this is a very timely and courageous statement. However, musically speaking, the tune's new-fangled Latin-tinged context unfortunately lacks the pissed-off, confrontational power of the original version, which is still available. The fourth cut, "Sin Djen Djen," is more satisfying, a pure blast of Manding soul, with keening vocals riding over spiky balafons (wooden xylophones) while Koite's guitar echoes repetitive volleys of hypnotic polyrhythms. "Roma," a flute-laced instrumental, is another charmer. Ultimately, while the album is well-worth hearing, an insidious use of hackneyed triple-A pop flavors in the arrangements sometimes comes dangerously close to blunting Koite's outspokenness and diluting his overall impact.

Customer Reviews


I found Koite's AFRIKI at my public library and was entranced by his style, gentleness and ability to take me places with his music. It is my goal to own all his albums shortly. Two down, two [3 if you like live music] to go. Just beautiful. If you appreciate world music, this is a must have. I close my eyes and let his music and voice give me wings. Quite amazing. You know how you buy an album and only like some songs on it? Not so with Koite. Every single song earns your respect and love. Brilliant!


Born: 1958 in Mali

Genre: World

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

The West African country of Mali has produced some great musicians. But as they age, people have wondered who'll step forward from the next generation. The big answer to that seems to be Habib Koité, who comes from the Khassonké griot tradition, that's the hereditary caste of musicians, but whose eyes are firmly on the future. Born in 1958, his lineage made music a part of his life and it was in order to accompany his mother's singing that he taught himself to play guitar, showing enough ability...
Full Bio
Baro, Habib Koité
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings