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Welcome to Mali

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iTunes Review

Most of North America got its first delicious taste of Amadou & Mariam’s refreshingly spirited sounds after the Manu Chao-produced album Dimanche à Bamako became a tastemaker favorite in 2004. The husband-and-wife duo of Aadou Bagayoko (guitar, vocals) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals) first met over 30 years ago at the Institute for Young Blind People in the Mali capitol of Bamako, and the pair started working together shortly after. The duo’s willingness to explore is demonstrated right off the bat with the Damon (Blur, Gorillaz) Albarn-produced “Sabali” and its drum machine patterns and sequenced keyboard arpeggios. “Djuru” matches fluidly sassy bass guitar and Mariam’s conversational singing with Toumani Diabaté’s exquisite cora playing. There are strong reggae undertones to “Je te kiffe,” which features French “funkabalist” vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Juan Rozoff, while “Sebeke” boasts funky keyboards and horns worthy of the ‘70s and hard-driving percussion which could fit on a party track from any era. 

Customer Reviews

Strong followup to Dimanche a Bamako

Outstanding. I prefer songs on which Amadou sings over the ones on which Mariam has the lead, but everything here is quality. One question---about 4 minutes into 'Sebeke' (listed as 11:41 in length) there is a 2 minute gap of dead air space. Then what appears to be a totally different song begins. Why? I noticed the same thing on another African release called Toto Bona Lokua---is this a stylistic thing in the tradition of African artists? If anyone knows, please post. Along with Fela Kuti and the early work of Manu Dibango, Amadou and Mariam are the best.

This is good. Check out UNISSONS NOUS.

The language barrier may seem strong, but just feel the groove and recognize the pure talent here. In a world of posers and people with marginal talent, Amadou and Mariam rise above the pack. By all means check out their previous collaborations with Manu Chao also. He gave them a modern edge and brought their sound into the twenty first century. African music can seen strange and "foreign" to most Americans, but if you give it a chance, it will grow on you. I really think the RIAA should consider this recording for a grammy award. Thanks also to Nonesuch for signing this duo and giving them the exposure they deserve.

2 Amazing talented people

They are really amazing! They actually met in a home for the blind, and they discovered that they both liked music and they married, and they are singing their hearts away!!! not bad for african and french music. I LOVE IT!


Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A musical husband-and-wife duo who got their start in Mali, Amadou & Mariam met in 1975 at Mali's Bamako Institute for the Young Blind. Amadou (born Amadou Bagayoko in Bamako in October of 1954) began his musical career in 1968, and by 1974 had joined Les Ambassadeurs du Motel, a leading group (which counted Salif Keita as a member) in his home country. He wound up at the aforementioned institute after becoming blind as a teenager through a congenital cataract. His future wife, Mariam Doumbia (born...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Amadou & Mariam

Welcome to Mali, Amadou & Mariam
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: World, Music, Worldbeat, Afro-Pop, French Pop, Rock
  • Released: Mar 24, 2009

Customer Ratings

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