PRICE: $27.50
I Speak Fula

OH 013LP OH 013LP

Double vinyl version. After his award-winning album Segu Blue (OH 007CD), Bassekou Kouyate, the ngoni wizard from Mali is back with a new offering, I Speak Fula. The album captures the incredible live energy of Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba and is the next step in the career of one of Mali's most exciting and innovative musicians. For Bassekou Kouyate it has been a long journey that started out in Garana, a small village on the Niger river where he grew up, then took him to the town of Segu, capital of his region, and on to Mali's capital, Bamako. And now it is taking him and his music around the world. In the mid-'80s, young Bassekou Kouyate played a concert in Bamako together with members of the famous Rail Band. During the show, Bassekou suddenly stood up and walked up to the front of the stage. For the first time, a ngoni player strapped his instrument over his shoulder like an electric guitar and was playing a solo standing up. What was new then has long become common practice in Mali today. From his early days in Bamako when he was playing in a trio together with Toumani Diabate and Keletigui Diabate until today, where he is pursuing his own career, Bassekou has transformed the traditional music of the ngoni into the modern world. With his band Ngoni ba, he has created a new line-up as a quartet with a rock band's style of playing. The ngonis they play are still acoustic as in the old days, but Bassekou invented a bass ngoni, even lower in pitch than the ngoni ba (low ngoni), added extra strings to make their instruments harmonically more flexible, or plugs in an occasional wah-wah pedal. In the process, Bassekou opened up the magic of an age-old music to people all over the world. Bassekou Kouyate has become the ambassador of the ngoni. He has brought this ancient instrument back to where it used to be: to the center of Malian music. Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba are now rocking the stages from Bamako to London. I Speak Fula expresses the spirit of openness and tolerance. The music of the griots has always been about building bridges between people. Mali itself is a very multi-ethnic country. "I Speak Fula" is a playful song about the relationship between the Bamana and the Fula. Bassekou Kouyate is Bamana but it is normal for him to play Fula music. The song is played in a local style called Koreduga. If Malians hear a Koreduga song, that means it is time to let their hair down, dance and enjoy. It is a song for everyone and you do not have to speak Fula to join the party. Produced by Lucy Duran and Jerry Boys and containing contributions by Toumani Diabate, Vieux Farka Toure, Kasse Mady Diabate, Harouna Samake, and others. Housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with full color inner sleeves.