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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra - Boulevard De L'independance (Mali 2006)

An Uncle Roddus Album Review
African Music Month

1. Toumani (5:53)
2. Boulevard de l'Independance (3:57)
3. Ye Fama (4:56)
4. Mali Sadio (7:54)
5. Africa Challenge (5:45)
6. Wasso (5:29)
7. Mamadou Diaby (6:47)
8. Taphia Niang (6:50)
9. Single (4:58)

This wonderful album may be the good score of the year. I was rummaging round the dregs of Borders CD collection after they had put their entire stock on sale, as they were getting out of the CD market, when I spotted this little beauty for about 5 bucks. Most local music buyers wouldn't have a clue what this is about but I thought the name looked familiar and the Symmetric Orchestra  part suggested to me that this was worth the small risk to purchase unheard.
First up I must say that the production and audio quality is outstanding and the musicianship is, of course first rate. This music gets very complex at times with a 50 piece orchestra but it never looses the plot.
Toumani Diabate , as with his fellow countryman Ali Farka Toure, has had international recognition for his music and his outstanding playing of the 21 string African Kora(Man this guy can play fast).
Traditional material given the full orchestral arrangements as well as some originals, this is great toe tapping stuff and just full of soul and passion. Highlights include the opening track, "Mali Sadio" and "Taphia Niang" and my short rushed review just doesn't give this music full credit. Fantastic contemporary African music. Rating 5/5

Have a listen Here  But better still, go and buy it.

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