December 02, 2008

"Ultra Rare"

A few days ago I stumbled upon a record on ebay for a ridiculous price of $300. It has since expired, but there are others offering this "Amazing manding LP recorded in Abidjan, very similar to rail band de Bamako" for a mere $266. Alternatively you can go over to another version of ebay, and get the same record for an astonishing bargain price of $99.

On the other hand you also download the same recording here. I won't charge you a cent. Spend the money you save on a christmas present for your loved ones, or on one (or all!) of the Oriki albums.

I am not saying the record is no good. On the contrary, it is a great lp, by one of the erstwhile national orchestras of Mali, Les Messagers du Mali. It was originally released on the Musique Mondiale label in Abidjan (MAD 011, cover -reconstructed from the ebay photo- on the right ), but I bought the cassette version in Bamako in 1988 (cover below). I remember the seller was reluctant to sell it to me. It didn't have an original cover and I probably wouldn't like it, he argued. I countered by lowering my bid, and got it for an absurdly low price. Absurdly low, given the quality of the music.

The repertoire of Les Messagers consists mainly of Malinké classics, from the Siramori Diabaté line of traditionals. Tracks like "Baninde" (on this lp "Dianyemoko"), "Kanou" and "Signaro". What I like about the orchestra (apart from the presence of a solid horns section) is the enthousiasm with which they attack the songs.

KS 342


John B. said...

Yes, the money people are bidding on EBay for some of these records is incredible, isn't it? $300 is hardly the highest amount I've seen!

Sometime in the future I'm going to post tracks from some great Ga-language LPs from Ghana that I got in an internet auction (not EBay) for FIVE DOLLARS EACH because nobody else would bid on them (they were all going for the Fela & Okosuns records also on offer. Well, their loss is my gain!)

avocado kid said...

some people tend to forget it is the music, not the slab of plastic, that is important... thanks again for a nice treasure!

Ambiance Congo said...

Amazing! I have wanted to hear this album for quite some time. The price has both kept me away and lured me. I REALLY look forward to listening to this!
Thanks you!

aduna said...


trumpetaaa said...

wonderful music from a group i never heard about before
i got a request : l'orchestre kanaga de mopti if you have that
many many thanks for all the great music you share here

zim said...

I too have long wondered about this LP - especially the use of the image of the taj mahal - any insight why that would be used?

NGONI said...

When there is appetite, everything tastes better, a lot of time waiting to hear this, really grateful.

WrldServ said...

Thanks zim for the improved version of the MAD cover!
I can only guess why they used the Taj Mahal. I have often seen pictures of the Kaaba in Mecca on Malian cassettes. Maybe they wanted to counterbalance these with this picture?

Momo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WrldServ said...

There are plenty of muslims in Mali, but 90% seems exaggerated. I know the CIA Factbook claims this, but my Malian sources strongly contradict this information...

ReeBee said...


Anonymous said...

Heard Diamana Diarra on Motherland Influence yesterday and was inexplicably reduced to tears. One of the most hauntingly beautiful things I've ever heard. I'm not even that into Malian music. Until now.

- Dave P

james said...

thakns a lot, beautiful album...i totally agree with you about the crazy price of some LP nowdays...I've seen one of Le Mystere Jazz at about 8OO$ recently....thakns again, the work you do here is just so important !

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this making truly remarkable recording available to us. The first hearing of Les Messagers had the same effect on me as hearing Jali Musa Jawara for the first time, in the old Stern's shop, some time in 1983...

Tim H

NGONI said...

Some resolved unknowns.
I waslooking for some information about National Badema, them came to a biography of Santoutou Kanouté, there said he have belonged to the staff of Badema, and also to Les Messegers de la Capitale, then I come back to listen this again carefully, is in Diayemoko (nice people),when I discovered that they used the historical "Banindé", only to praise his head orchestra and sax Badani Samaké, comparing him to all the great men of the country, and after listing at the end of the song I found they discover the name of the musicians.
Madani, sakifola
Sory, trompetifola
Moussa, bassifola
Djeli Moussa,mediumfola
Mattie, micorofola
Lamittie, micorofola
Lassie, micorofola-djembefola
Abou Diou, dombafola
Namory, micorofola
Also I confirm that the medium guitar is Djelimoussa Kouyate, thanks to its misleading and incorrect dates biography (, I think it's also Santoutou singing "Signaro" (title of his solo album), and I suspect that another solo voice can be Damori Kouyaté.

When trying to hear the names I found that speed is a little faster, decreasing 3% better understand the words and the music seems more real.

WrldServ said...

@Ngoni: Thanks for the research! The "-fola" can be translated as 'player', - which makes the singers "microphone players". Brilliant!

NGONI said...

Thanks again for sharing these wonders.

Re-reading my comment, I note that I wrote "Namory", instead of "Damory", and "listing" instead of "listening".
Forgot to mention that you have to add ten years at the dates in the Djeli Moussa "Bio", and it does not seem accidental to me, that the singer in "Dianyemoko" repeated twice "Damory eh micorofola", I think highlights he the attention, to show that he is the singer.
The spelling of the names of the artists, and Bamana expressions are improvised.