"There is a proverb in Fulani from Fouta Toro who say, the language of the Fulanis people, the Pulaar, was born in the Fouta Toro. The language grow up in Fouta Djallon. And the language become like an old man at Masina--that's at the north of Mali. And they explain it. They say you can see a lot of musicians in Fouta Toro. The language they are singing is very [much] for ambiance, and when they are talking, it is really very straight, the communication. But when you go to Fouta Djallon, it's a little bit more mature. It's a lot of knowledge that goes with the talking. And when you go to Masina, it's lke an older person who is talking. He is using symbols. They use symbols. But we all keep and maintain the relationship between the three Fulani centers from Senegal to Guinea and to Mali."
The Télé-Jazz are from Télémélé, which is a town (and préfecture) in the Foutah Djallon. And their lp on the Syliphone label certainly shows the maturity to which Baaba Maal refers.
The orchestra distinguishes itself from the Malinké (Mandingue) groups from Kankan or Conakry, not just by the language but also by the pentatonic origin of their music.
My favourite track on this lp is (I am almost inclined to write "of course") the superb ballad "Dyamaa", which even after years sends chills down my spine.
"La fête au Foutah", certainly, - but mostly a celebration of Foutah Djallon culture!