"WRIR’s CMJ New World Top Ten
1 MAMANI KEITA | Kanou | World Village
2 WILLIAM ONYEABOR | World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? | Luaka Bop
3 TED SIROTA’S HEAVYWEIGHT DUB | The Scientist Meets Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub | Liberated Zone…”
"WRIR’s CMJ New World Top Ten
"I wondered what Mamani Keita was going to sound like now, going solo for the first time on her fourth album, as all the blurbs were reminding me, without a Nicholas Repac or a Marc Minelli double-billing with her. Nobody wrapping her up with a mixing desk. Her own name to the fore on the songwriting credits. What was she going to do?
…The reduction in satire, if it exists, is a language-borne sign of her return to an unambiguously Mandinka area of music. The sharpest arrows of her own voice are partnered and reflected by a battery of West African strings: guitar strings, kora strings, and ngoni strings. The guitarist has been borrowed from the Super Rail Band, so he knows something about propelling a tune. But it interests me when I notice that she has decided not to use the slow burn that she must have heard so often in the tradition of pop music that she’s borrowing from, the patient tumbling sound that made such an indelible impression on a musician like Salif Keita…
Kanou is a pop-rock album and it’s also an impatient album. It never uses four seconds to get a motif across if it can do it in three…”
"…WME: I noticed that both you and Rokia Traore come from the Bambara tribe and tradition and both of you have strong messages in your songs about women, relationships and social messages. Do you find that your songs give you a platform for teaching others how to live in the world more peacefully?
MK: I try to build my song around themes that seem universal to me. I often speak about children and women in the world. Maltreatment of children and the difficulty faced by women affect me because of places I’ve lived where saw all this in my childhood. These are issues that affect me and they’re not specific to Africa. These problems exist throughout the world; in all societies people who are weaker suffer. I have this rebellion inside me that makes me want to sing in order to give voice to the weaker and to give them hope. We need to talk about it, we have to call to mind and make sure everybody knows what’s going on in the world. We especially we have to try to touch the heart of men.
WME: I noticed that the song titled Marimasa on Espace appears again on Kanou but with different spelling Marie Massa. Why did you choose to rerecord this song? What is the message of the song?
MK: I re-recorded Marimasa because there is a strong message in this song. Marimasa mean the Good Lord. He is the one who witnessed everything that happens in the world, good and bad. The idea is simple in this song. One that makes good (deeds) on earth, the Good Lord sees him and is grateful. The one who does bad things, the Good Lord also sees him, and bad people will answer their acts in front of God. It was important to me to include this song in Kanou because of its simple but strong message. I had to re-record it and to give it my own musical color…”
Mamani Keita - Kanou (ZikNation Live Session) (by OlivierOff)
Mamani Keita’s Kanou is out now on World Village! Get it here on iTunes: http://ow.ly/t9HwB
"Djeli Moussa Kouyaté’s guitars dance around Mamani Keita’s warm vocals and choruses, surrounding them like a mother’s arms. Tasty layers of these guitars are augmented further by ngoni and percussion" - WNYC New Sounds
"Mamani Keita – Kanou
From the Album Kanou due out Feb. 11, 2014 (WorldVillage)
The transfixing Malian vocalist brings the hypnotic groove. In her latest, “Kanou,” meaning ‘to love’ in her native Bambara, Mamani Keita sings about loving your partner “more than silver and gold.” Djeli Moussa Kouyaté’s guitars dance around Mamani Keita’s warm vocals and choruses, surrounding them like a mother’s arms. Tasty layers of these guitars are augmented further by ngoni and percussion, with added space to give even more life to Mamani Keita’s songs.
Also, because one isn’t enough, here’s “Djigihia,” an ode to hope.”
"Mamani Keita is a Malian singer who’s lived in France for the last 27 years. She started by backing up Salif Keita (no relation), then carved out a career as a lead singer, collaborating first with producer Mark Minelli then with Nicolas Repac. On her fourth album, Keita is very much in charge – she wrote all eleven songs and is sole-billed on the sleeve for the first time. The music is subtly different from Keita’s earlier outings – instead of the electronica touches of Minelli and Repac, this album is driven by the multitracked guitar of Djeli Moussa Kouyate (hear his Sonic Youth-meets-Mali sound on track 4), best known for his work as the second guitarist in Mali’s Super Rail Band. Amadou & Mariam’s long-time producer Marc-Antoine Moreau is behind the board this time, and the rock-oriented approach here bears some resemblance to the sound of that successful Malian-French duo – track 6 is a good example. A number of Malian artists are moving in a rockier direction right now (Rokia Traore, Bassekou Kouyate, the whole desert blues complex for starters); Keita is part of that trend, and it suits her very well indeed. I’d say this is her best effort so far."
Looks like a fantastic month ahead!
Mamani Keïta is one of the great voices of Mali, a singer who knows how to bind her audience to her, all the better to seduce and then electrify them. She is also supremely charismatic, with a generous spirit that embraces the world and its music. All of which makes her an independent and socially engaged artist. On Kanou, (out February 11), which means ‘to love’ in her native Bambara, Keïta’s blazing vocals intertwine perfectly with the arabesques woven by the n’goni of virtuoso Moriba Koïta and the guitars of Djeli Moussa Kouyaté, a figurehead for the Bamako Rail Band during their glory years. Overflowing with a benevolent strength, this collection of searingly passionate songs is her first solo album, marking a decisive turning point in her career.
With Bring It Back (out February 11), vocalist Catherine Russell digs deeper into a rich vein of musical treasures. Mining legendary collaborations between her father, Luis Russell and the great Louis Armstrong, Russell brings along her team from two previous chart-topping albums, the latest of which won the Prix du Jazz Vocal from L’academie du Jazz and Grand Prix du Hot Club de France. Gems from the jazz age and swing era, performed with new arrangements for ten-piece orchestra, blend seamlessly with reinventions sourced from Blues icons Esther Phillips, Al Hibbler, Wynonie Harris and Little Willie John. Russell personifies the living heart and proud history of each song.