Posts Tagged ‘seckou keita’

Songlines Best Albums of 2015

Posted on November 13th, 2015 in Recent posts by .

Songlines-BestAlbums15_CMYKweb

Songlines’ editors Jo Frost and Simon Broughton select their favourite albums from 2015

With five picks each, Jo Frost and Simon Broughton have chosen their favourite albums that have been reviewed within Songlines magazine in the last 12 months. You can read more about these ten albums in the next issue (Jan/Feb 2016, #114), out on December 11. This year’s selections (in alphabetical order):


Tarek Abdallah & Adel Shams
El-Din – Wasla
(Buda Musique, reviewed in #107)

 

Lila Downs – Balas y Chocolate
(Sony Music, reviewed in #112)

 

Tigran Hamasyan & the Yerevan State Chamber Choir – Luys i Luso
(ECM, reviewed in #113)

 

Seckou Keita – 22 Strings
(ARC Music, reviewed in #109)

 

Sam Lee & Friends – The Fade in Time
(Nest Collective Records, reviewed in #107)

 

Mariza – Mundo
(Warner Music Portugal, reviewed in #113)

 

Titi Robin with Mehdi Nassouli – Taziri
(World Village, reviewed in #109)

 

Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal – Musique de Nuit
(No Format!, reviewed in #111)

 

Mahsa Vahdat – Traces of an Old Vineyard
(Kirkelig Kulturverksted, reviewed in #107)

 

Various Artists – Africa Express Presents… Terry Riley’s In C Mali
(Transgressive Records, reviewed in #107)

 

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New issue (Oct 2015) on sale now!

Posted on August 28th, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .

Songlines October 2015

Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita; the voice of devotional Sufi music, Faiz Ali Faiz; and folk duo Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons 

The October 2015 (#111) edition is on sale in the UK from today. The free exclusive 15-track covermount CD features ten tracks from our latest Top of the World albums and a guest playlist by guitarist and record producer Phil Manzanera.

Featured on the Top of the World CD are new tracks from the kora and cello duo Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal, South African a capella trio The Soil, and Colombian salsa collective La-33.

Features 
• Seckou Keita – The kora player talks to Jane Cornwell about his latest solo project and his journey so far.
• Iness Mezel – The French-Algerian singer tells Alexandra Petropoulos about the magical world of Berber traditions and beliefs that inspired her new album.
• Kaushiki Chakrabarty – The khayal singer speaks about her demanding yet expressive North Indian classical vocal style.
• Dom Flemons & Martin Simpson – After a much-lauded collaboration last year, Julian May catches up with the duo before they embark on another musical adventure.
• Arifa – The Dutch group talk about their latest Eastern-influenced project.

Regulars
• Beginner’s Guide: The leading voice in qawwali, Faiz Ali Faiz.
• My World: A playlist and interview with record producer and guitarist Phil Manzanera.
• Postcard from Louisiana, US.
• Introducing… Ngawang Lodup and Khiyo.
• Spotlight on Daby Touré.
• Quickfire: Blick Bassy, Heidi Tidow and Chris Eckman.
• What’s New, including the documentary They Will Have to Kill Us First, Cheikh Lô at the 17th WOMEX Awards, Youssou N’Dour, and a snapshot of the Songlines team’s summer.
• Reviews of the latest CD and world cinema releases.

Buy the new issue here.



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New issue preview: October (#111)

Posted on August 14th, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .

Songlines October 2015

A Man in Motion; over the past decade the various projects of Seckou Keita have been discussed within our pages. His latest album and tour features only him and the 22 strings of his kora; we talk to him about his journey so far.

Other features include Martin Simpson & Dom Flemons who we catch up with after their much-lauded collaboration last year; we talk to Dutch group Arifa about their latest Eastern-influenced project; an interview with khayal singer Kaushiki Chakrabarty; plus the latest CD and world cinema reviews to get stuck into.

The issue’s Top of the World covermount CD includes brand new tracks from La-33, The Soil, Amadou Balaké and Cabruêra, plus an exclusive playlist from musician and record producer Phil Manzanera, who talks about some of his favourite artists from around the world.

On sale in the UK from August 28. Click here to purchase your copy now.

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Album Review | Top of the World | Seckou Keita – 22 Strings

Posted on June 19th, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Seckou

Words by Nigel Williamson

Seckou Keita 22 Strings CoverWhat Keita did next

After his sublime album, Clychau Dibon, with Welsh harpist Catrin Finch that won Best Cross-Cultural Collaboration in the 2014 Songlines Music Awards, the Senegalese-born but UK-based kora player follows with a mostly instrumental solo album of meditative grace and consummate elegance. The title tells a tale for the harp-like instrument conventionally has 21 strings. Yet according to legend, centuries ago when the djinns (spirits) gave the griot Jai Mady Wuleng the first kora, it had 22 strings. When he died, his fellow griots took one string away in his memory. In the southern Senegalese province of Casamance, where Seckou was born, the 22-stringed kora has survived. Despite the extra string, on these ten compositions Seckou’s style is distinctly more minimalist than the rich flurries of notes favoured by the poet laureate of the instrument, Toumani Diabaté. In particular, the vocal tracks such as ‘If Only I Knew’, ‘Kana-Sila’ and the gorgeous ‘Mandé’, sung by Seckou in a soulful voice of great poise, have an attractive folk simplicity, although there’s a more classical feel to several of the instrumental pieces. The overwhelming mood is stately, some might even say sombre, for there is clearly serious griot business at work here. The best is kept to last with ‘Future Strings in E’. At almost seven minutes, it’s a stunning instrumental showcase for Seckou’s inventiveness on all 22 of his ancient strings.

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