Since my post about this remarkable couple in November 2008 I am none the wiser about their fortune. What happened to Safoura Denou and her husband Seny Sangaré?
Are they still living in San, in the Ségou region of Mali? Are they alive? Do they still perform?
As representatives of the authentic bambara culture of the Segou region they deserve a place in the Hall of Fame of Malian music. And to support this I would like to submit this cassette as evidence.
Recorded in 1988, it is indisputable proof of their greatness. Both Seny's ngoni playing and animation and Safoura's at times almost violent vocal contribution in this cassette will be very hard to match, just on these qualities. But in addition to these they demonstrate a profound knowledge of the tradition of their region in their songs. Their version of "Mbaoudi", for example, (not on this cassette, but on one which I'll post later) has become a standard in Malian music. It was even parodied by Habib Dembelé a.k.a. Guimba, Mali's most famous comedian, and his wife Fantani Touré.
This cassette has no weaker tracks, but slightly 'above the rest' is - in my humble opinion - the track "Masa Jirilen", brought with such passion and conviction, that one almost forgets there are just two people playing....
Syllart SYL 8363
Ramblers International Decca West Africa 1977
5 hours ago