October 14, 2009

Power kora and copper vocals

A quick midweek post now, and one in a very different mood and from a different culture.
In an earlier post I have already mentioned the inimitable Lalo Keba Dramé. Well here is full cassette of that master of kora and copper vocals from the Casamance.
In this cassette the metal ring to his voice is accentuated even more by a female backing vocalist. Together they venture to the edge of the tolerable, - and sometimes even beyond this (if you can't stand nails on a blackboard, be warned!).

Lalo Keba Dramé's kora playing is dynamic and full of jumpy energy. Unlike more recent kora artists, Dramé's art has a popular feel: I never get the impression he is trying to convey a 'higher', more sophisticated Art form.

Personal favourites are the first track, "Coura M'Bissane", the excellent razor-sharp version of "Bamba Bodian" and the undulating "N'Diato". Also I would like to draw your attention to the last track, "Kantintin", a tribute to former president Senghor, - or "Leopold" for his more intimate friends......

Bellot Records C 3801


urijenny said...

Esta masterpiece tiene una tremenda fuerza, la música transmite vitalidad y energía desbordante; el complemento de las voces de Lalo y la vocalista femenina (desconocida) que lo acompaña es fantástico.

La música transmite sensaciones rurales, paisajes, época: para uno que tiene una "mente" un poco desenfrenada es como sentir el paisaje africano senegalense de años atrás.

Muchas gracias amigo worldservice.

Y feliz año nuevo!

Kora_Sasha said...

Hi, I am a kora player and I can tell you that Lalo Kebba Drammeh is the best kora player to ever have been recorded. This is not even my opinion, but the opinion of everyone you speak to in Gambia.

There is no kora player that has been able to replicate Lalo's ability. The only ones who ever came close were Alhaji Bai Konte and Jali Nyama Suso.

The only reason the recording sounds so harsh on the ears is because it is old and the recording equipment is outdated.

urijenny said...

Acabo de saber que Koura Mbessane es la cantante que acompaña a Lalo en varias canciones. También es su viuda y actualmente vive en la miseria.

Que pena. Es una cantante maravillosa.

WrldServ said...

@Kora_Sasha: As far as kora players from the Gambia are concerned I tend to agree with you. But it is very hard to compare these with the great kora players from Mali, - like for example Sekou Batourou Kouyate, with his far more subdued /less exuberant style.

@urijenny: Gracias! Entonces parece que la primera canción es sobre esta cantante excepcional...

Love Letters Journal said...

Thank you for these senegalese gems