June 16, 2009

Wasso

I am taking a risk here, in assuming the title of the last track of this lp is misspelt (or misspelled) and the actual title should be "waso" with one "s", meaning "showing off" or "boasting". You will find many songs in Malian music telling you that showing off is not acceptable ("waso magni").

The Rail Band is not one of those bands that can be accused of showing off. On the contrary, they have been very modest in the long time of their existence. Forever linked to their 'alumni' Mory Kanté and Salif Keita (and the latter only was a member for two years!), the band has struggled through the decades, playing at the Buffet de la Gare in the centre of Bamako. And I can assure you that this was not always the 'hottest club in town'....

Lately, with the release of the Belle Epoque series (of which the second is my favourite, by the way) they have been rightly brought into the limelight. But there is still a lot of ground to be covered for a band that has been in existence for 40 years this year.

Consider this album my 'drop in the ocean'. Recorded for the Sacodis label in Abidjan in 1979, it is remarkable how close the orchestra has managed to remain to their live sound. Listening to these tracks I have no problem imagining myself sitting at a table at the Buffet de la Gare, a rapidly warming beer within reach plus the inevitable 'loose women'.... The cool but decisive guitar of Djelimady Tounkara, (the late) Tidiani Koné, who founded the band, dodging around him on sax and leading the horns, the mainly doubled vocals...
It is no wonder they lasted so long!

Sacodis LS-25

7 comments:

taraletti said...

Thanks a lot!

george said...

Thanks! May be the best Rail band i have heard (usually they have not drive like this). Who is the singer here??
Just two weeks ago saw the live perfomance of Salif Keita in Germany. He is still great!!

pasi said...

Thanks a lot also!
Wanted to listen this for long time but it costs such ridiculous money where I have seen copys of it.

Norio said...

This is wonderful music to dance to! I am especially enamored of "Ma. Awaba". Thank you very much. And thank you, too, for the link to Stern's Africa; I didn't know that they had released a Belle Epoch series of this great band.

Anonymous said...

All tracks available on the ALLO BAMAKO CD released a while back on the Oriki label and still available.

Psicodelia pura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

One of the best Rail Band LPs I've heard - thank you!!!!