Bar Konon Mousso Bar


2014 reissue. Kindred Spirits presents the first reissue of legendary Burkinabé vocalist and bandleader Amadou Balaké's album Bar Konon Mousso Bar, originally released in 1978 by the Ivorian label Sacodis. In 1978, four years after the first recorded single version of "Bar Konou Mousso," Balaké recorded that song once again, in a harder funk mode. Named "Super Bar Konon Mousso," it was an updated version of the song that had made him famous in his home country, and became the opening track on this album. The album version of this masterful ode to the penniless musicians and the ladies of African nights is faster than the more atmospheric original, fitting perfectly with the mood of the era. "Tondibama" is a traditional warba song with cheerful horn arrangements and some light backing vocals, and features effortless vocal acrobatics from Balaké. "Nabacouboury," another warba number that Balaké sang many times over throughout his long career, closes the A-side. B-side opener "Dounignamou" circles on and on, recalling a village dance, with the trumpet taking the lead vocal role by the song's end while the rhythm section cooks up a sturdy instrumental background. "Aminata, du Thé!" is one of the most powerful funk numbers to come from 1970s Africa. A true dynamite song with a hint of machismo, it leaves no doubt as to where Balaké's influences come from. Deep and hypnotic from the moment his moans and groans introduce the song, Balaké stands here at his most reminiscent of James Brown. It's all about sweat, power, and sincerity. Album closer "Balaké ya Mariama" displays Balaké's most romantic sides, as, with obvious Afro-Latin influences, he praises the grace of female hips. Balaké learned his Afro-Cubanisms all across West Africa, and it should come as no surprise that he later emerged as a world-class performer with Africando. Balaké stands as one of Africa's most mesmerizing voices, and Bar Konon Mousso Bar is a true highlight of his long career. This reissue features original artwork and remastered sound.