November 05, 2008

Pioneers of Malian music (3)

This third post about Daouda 'Flani' Sangaré, Alou Fané and Zani Diabaté is about the Super Djata Band.

When Daouda Sangaré came to Bamako he met with friends from the same area of the Sikasso region. As Flani was already quite popular as a dancer, musician (he played the kamalen n'goni and the bala) and singer his friends asked him to join them to play at baptisms, weddings and other events.
In 1964 he was introduced to Alou Fané, who came from a village close to Flani's native village. They were best friends right from the start. Flani (who was very popular with the ladies) even found Alou a wife.

Flani's popularity grew until in 1968 he was invited to join the Ballet National du Mali as a principal dancer and singer, acrobat and musician (mainly bala). He persuaded them to contract Alou as well. In the Ballet they met Zani Diabaté. Zani already had a band going in Bamako called Harmonica Jazz, with Zani playing the harmonica. He, Flani and a talented djembé player called Maré Sanogo decided that they could combine their work with the Ballet with a private orchestra. They would rehearse in their spare time while on tour (the Ballet performed all over the world), with Zani playing guitar, Flani kamalen n'goni (and vocal) and Maré djembé and percussion. The band was called Ganoua Band.

At the time there were two national orchestras: the Formation A, led by Kélétigui Diabaté and Formation B, led by Ades Traoré. And in the early 1970s the Ganoua Band was appointed to be Formation C. They played at the Club Sportif (which is now the Carrefour des Jeunes). First Formation A three tracks, then Formation B three tracks and finally Formation C three tracks.

Flani and Alou Fané had already made their first recordings at the Radio Mali in 1968. These were the very first recordings made of kamalen n'goni music. I'll post some of these recordings in a later post.

After travelling abroad (amongst others to Cuba) the Formation C was left without work. So Zani and Flani went back to the private form which they named the Djata Band. The band started recording in 1974 (at the Radio Mali).
Later some of these recording were released through record labels in Abidjan (Mali didn't produce records until 1980).

Here is an lp from the late 1970s, released on the Disco Rama label in Abidjan. As is the case with most of the Super Djata albums the quality of the record is rather poor. So here are two versions of this classic Super Djata album, one from vinyl and one from a cassette reproduction which I bought in Mali.

And to give you an idea of the enormous talent of this orchestra, here is another track of the 1984 Angoulême concert, "Djegnogo Djougou" featuring Daouda 'Flani' Sangaré on lead vocal.


avocado kid said...

thanks for the great education you're giving us!

aduna said...

Quel groupe!!!

Momo said...

Thank you worldserver ,Malian sound are always great

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite of all the wonderful posts you've made. Any more by Zani et al. is always welcome. The early stuff seems hard to find. Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, and thank you so much. I've been taking in your and other blog postings of the '70s Malian orchestras, and so far the Djata are my favorites.

One question: According to Radio Africa, there are two discorama Djatas---'80 and '82. Do you know if this is one of those, or something different?
Merci bien!!!

WrldServ said...

@Anonymous: If you download the file you will see that this is "Authentique 80" (Disco Rama ML 01). I see I have forgotten to add the sleeve... Here is the front and here the back.