October 09, 2008

Fodé Nara

I have been waiting impatiently for years, hoping that one day this cassette will be released in its full glory. This hope was fed by the release on CD of the "Nama" lp.
Shortly after buying the cassette in Bamako I heard (and recorded) a bit of the track "Fodé Nara" on Malian radio. From this I know that there must be a better quality original somewhere. Twenty years later it still hasn't surfaced.

What has surfaced is a overproduced (by Ibrahima Sylla*) version of "Fodé Nara" on an lp (and later CD) by singer Kasse Mady Diabaté.
I hasten to add that I very much like Kasse Mady, and I think he's a great singer of the Malinké repertoire of the legendary Siramori Diabaté. But Kasse Mady is at his best supported by a full strength orchestra, singing and rocking his shoulders in his grand boubou as only he can. And what better orchestra is there to support Kasse Mady than National Badema, one of the national orchestras of Mali.

Listen to this (and in particular the moving version of "Tessiry Magan") and you'll know what I mean.

National Badema du Mali - Lamda

Technical notes: the cassette was sold to me without a cover. I soon found out that the titles printed on the cassette were in the wrong order, and that one track had no matching title.

*this link does not imply that I agree with one word of this wikipedia entry. I suspect it was either written by himself or by a close relative.....

EDIT (March 4, 2010): extra link


Momo said...

Malian musics rock !!!
Thank u for this great post

zim said...

I have to say I'm blown away by the rarities you are posting - what else do you have in your vault - Orchestre National "B" du Mali? Orchestre Regional de Gao? de Tumbuctou?

that being said, I have to take it a little on faith as to the majesty of the music on this cassette - between the cassette dub and the transcription to 128 bit mp3 its a little hard to get a full sense of the intricacy of the music.

From what I can hear though, it is pretty fascinating - Track 2, which to my ears has a feel a little bit in common with Orch. Regional de Kayes' "sanjna" but with an almost Islamicized reggae beat and those wild spaceship landing effects like a Malian Lee Perry had got hold of it.

There's some fantastic flute work too on other tracks (boncana maiga?).

Stefan, maybe you can answer a question I've been wondering a little about - I've seen variously that National Badema was formed from the remnants of Maravillas de Mali or that it was formed from a conjunction of National "A" and National "B" - which one is true? or are both?

WrldServ said...

First let me stress (for others) that the compression of the mp3 is 192 kbps. A 'higher' quality would have been nonsense with the quality of the cassette.
Badema have always put in effects in their tracks, e.g. the motorboat sound in 'Nama' (which is about a tragic and historic shipwreck on the river Niger). The chef d'orchestre of Badema was Amadou Ba Guindo (later responsible for the arrangments on Oumou Sangaré's albums). The flute player is -if I remember correctly- Aliou Traoré, who also played with Oumou.

Badema came out of the older National orchestras (A, B and C).

Anonymous said...

I stumbled again with these comments while searching for information, the contribution of Graeme Counsel on youtube with a recording of the Orchestre National B de la Republique du Mali, is the source of my curiosity.

Well I have to comment that Aliou Traore is the fiddler from Maravillas de Mali, partner in the Oumou band with the flutist Amadou aka "Adez" Traoré, and Amadou ba Guindo only was artistic director in the first album of Oumou, since a car accident ended his life.
It could also be Dramane Coulibaly, the flautist in this recording, as we see him in the group of that recording.... on the BBC reportage with Kassé Mady singing Fodé to.