October 21, 2008

Les Ambassadeurs

It has often surprised me that western media associate Salif Keita with the Rail Band de Bamako. Salif Keita was a member of this orchestra for less than 3 years. With Les Ambassadeurs he sung for much longer. Maybe it is true as Graeme Counsel suggests that he left the band in 1982. I saw him perform with Les Ambassadeurs in (if I remember correctly) 1985. At the legendary African Feeling concert in Paradiso (Amsterdam) they left the audience gasping for more...

I am not sure about the name of the track in this video from Malian television. In Guinea the track is mostly called "Were Were", but in Mali bands tend to favour names like "Ah N'Dianamo".
Besides Salif Keita and Manfila Kanté (lead guitar) you may recognize the rhythm guitar player, Amadou Bagayoko (of Amadou & Mariam*, formerly known as "Le Couple Aveugle"). And I would like to draw your attention to the trumpet player, Tagus Traoré, who has not only played with Les Ambassadeurs, but also with Le Nimba Jazz and a range of other orchestras in Guinea, as well as playing with Ernesto Djédjé in Abidjan (and who now lives in the Netherlands).

* It seems a huge injustice that they have got their own wikipedia page and Les Ambassadeurs don't.


aduna said...

It's like happiness was everywhere on stage. Very nice video. Thanks

paska said...

Thanks! Happy to see this rare video! Superb music.

Anonymous said...

I have nailed this tune in my brain from first day.
Sure that I have heard in many versions such as "Were Were-Camayenne Sofa."

But today I felt it was recognized in the album Seckou Keitá-Diamana Mousso and it comes with the text, I would like to share it.

http://free.napster.com/player/?play_id=24266627&type=trackDiamana Mousso

In any relationship, distance between partners will not stop them thinking of each other in a good or bad way.
Our ancestors had a more difficult and tiring life but they were an example for relationships based on trust and friendship.
We are in a world which has started with love and end with love.
Love and friendship are based on trust.
Mansali used to say that to listen to each other is very important and used to leave us saying "Good Bye! God give you somebody who stays and care for you."

Today people say, "I will love you for something and I want you for something."

This is not the way! Just love!

WrldServ said...

Thanks for this great piece of research!
Unfortunately there seems to be a problem with the link to the track. On all browsers I get a message that "there was a problem with the request"....

Anonymous said...

Try this.

Is only 30 seconds track.

But I can mail you the 8,12 sec.track if you recognise it.

WrldServ said...

It does indeed appear to be the same track. But the Seckou Keita track is more recent than the Ambassadeurs version, so it may be a copy.

I have never,however, seen or heard a version on lp or cassette by Les Ambassadeurs.

Anonymous said...

Were were = Mana mana


San said...

Qui est ce 3ème autre chanteur dans le trio qui porte des lunettes à côté de Salif Keita ?