Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Fula Flute

Mansa America

2009-03-09

Sure, opening cut "Obama" (#1) feels like a bit of a novelty song after the 2008 election. But concentrate on the playing - especially Bailo Bah's and Sylvain Leroux's crazy good flute chops - instead of the foreign language words, and the track will win you over like everything else on the disc. This traditional-based Fulani music from the Fouta Djalon highlands of Guinea features complex balafon, kora, and flute solos that feel like the wellspring of American jazz, especially when paired with genuine jazz change-ups. But there's also a stateliness to the instrumentation that somehow seems classical. The two strains combine brilliantly on "Fouta Canada" (#5), thanks to a seamlessly integrated horn section. It's the Fulani flute that steals the show on "Lele"(#4) and "Boloba" (#6) via performances so physical, it's as if the flutist is trying to fit his entire body into the mouthpiece. The vocal interjections that punctuate these solos increase the crazy intensity of an already thrilling recording. - Bob Tarte

More reviews tagged #World

  • reviewed 01/2010

    MANU CHAO
    Baionarena

  • reviewed 02/2006

    APOLLO NOVE
    RES INEXPLICATA VOLANS

  • reviewed 05/2009

    ENTER THE HAGGIS
    Gutter Anthems

  • reviewed 11/2015

    Peter Cooper
    Depot Light Songs Of Eric Taylor

  • reviewed 02/2007

    Pistolera
    Siempre Hay Salida (There's Always A Way Out)

  • reviewed 07/2014

    ALEJANDRA RIBERA
    La Boca

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.