October 26, 2008

Biton's last

The story of the Super Biton orchestra from Ségou has always been closely linked to that of the Biennales and its predecessor, the Semaines Nationales. The orchestra represented the Segou region in the category "orchestre moderne" at all the Semaines and Biennales (although a few times 'hors compétition'). I will come back to Biton's history in a later post.

But at the very last of the old style Biennales in 1988 Super Biton disappointed and came nowhere near winning. Band members sought excuses and blaimed the lack of investment in equipment and instruments. The general opinion of the public attending the concert at the Cinéma Rex in Bamako was that Biton had exaggerated the flattery. Too much "Président Moussa Traoré is a great guy".

Personally I think it was the absence of Amadou 'Armstrong' Bah, who had retired as 'chef d'orchestre' after the European tour of 1987. He was the invariable quantity in the history of Biton.

Biton released their last cassette (which they recorded in Abidjan) at the same Biennale. Although enjoyable, it's certainly not their best.

EDIT April 12, 2015: The link has been updated.


Anonymous said...

Not so epic than previous albums of the orchestra but very nice and fresh work of the "foli".
Many thanks.

aduna said...

Even if it's not best Super Biton's recording, it's better than a lot of new stuff... Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi World Service

Something has gone wrong with the link for this. I keep getting a 'page cannot be displayed" error.


WrldServ said...

@Anonymous (Al): Thanks for letting me know!
I've replace the link with a working one.

leeabbmul said...

Petit souci sur le "Biton"...
Le load pointe sur une cassette de "Debonheur" (qui n'est pas mal mais j'étais vraiment très curieux d'écouter ce Biton que je ne connaissais pas).
Si tu pouvais faire quelque chose ...
Merci beaucoup d'avance et bonne continuation.

WrldServ said...

@Alain: Thank you for pointing this out to me! I have corrected it, and the link now leads to the Biton cassette.
The Debonheur cassette is very nice too, by the way.