I have been waiting impatiently for years, hoping that one day this cassette will be released in its full glory. This hope was fed by the release on CD of the "Nama" lp.
Shortly after buying the cassette in Bamako I heard (and recorded) a bit of the track "Fodé Nara" on Malian radio. From this I know that there must be a better quality original somewhere. Twenty years later it still hasn't surfaced.
What has surfaced is a overproduced (by Ibrahima Sylla*) version of "Fodé Nara" on an lp (and later CD) by singer Kasse Mady Diabaté.
I hasten to add that I very much like Kasse Mady, and I think he's a great singer of the Malinké repertoire of the legendary Siramori Diabaté. But Kasse Mady is at his best supported by a full strength orchestra, singing and rocking his shoulders in his grand boubou as only he can. And what better orchestra is there to support Kasse Mady than National Badema, one of the national orchestras of Mali.
Listen to this (and in particular the moving version of "Tessiry Magan") and you'll know what I mean.
National Badema du Mali - Lamda
Technical notes: the cassette was sold to me without a cover. I soon found out that the titles printed on the cassette were in the wrong order, and that one track had no matching title.
*this link does not imply that I agree with one word of this wikipedia entry. I suspect it was either written by himself or by a close relative.....
EDIT (March 4, 2010): extra link
the real calypso 1 (1927-1946)
6 hours ago