2009-08-09Kimi Djabate, a master of the balafon -- akin to our xylophone -- was born into a family of griots in the tiny African country of Gunau-Bissau. Griots are incredible African musicians who make it their life's work to tell the story of their people in song. As you might imagine, Djabate started his musical education early and played often. The artistry shows on this set. Although now living in Lisbon, Djabate's subject matter remains centered on Africa. Up-tempo songs on the disc are "Mussolu," "Manla" and "Bagi." Another interesting number is "Djalia," which features the balafon front and center. Even the smallest countries have much to teach us -- if we're willing to listen. W-Africa 08/09 Michael J.
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