January 31, 2010

Hall of fame

Since my post about this remarkable couple in November 2008 I am none the wiser about their fortune. What happened to Safoura Denou and her husband Seny Sangaré?
Are they still living in San, in the Ségou region of Mali? Are they alive? Do they still perform?

As representatives of the authentic bambara culture of the Segou region they deserve a place in the Hall of Fame of Malian music. And to support this I would like to submit this cassette as evidence.

Recorded in 1988, it is indisputable proof of their greatness. Both Seny's ngoni playing and animation and Safoura's at times almost violent vocal contribution in this cassette will be very hard to match, just on these qualities. But in addition to these they demonstrate a profound knowledge of the tradition of their region in their songs. Their version of "Mbaoudi", for example, (not on this cassette, but on one which I'll post later) has become a standard in Malian music. It was even parodied by Habib Dembelé a.k.a. Guimba, Mali's most famous comedian, and his wife Fantani Touré.

This cassette has no weaker tracks, but slightly 'above the rest' is - in my humble opinion - the track "Masa Jirilen", brought with such passion and conviction, that one almost forgets there are just two people playing....

Syllart SYL 8363


Tim said...

I second the motion.

I especially like in the last 15 seconds of Jugu Ye Nkoro when Safoura Denou is singing powerfully, then halts to almost a whisper as the music stops. Beautiful voice!

Please do post more.

NGONI said...

Sometimes there is no time for commentary,every time I run the blogs meet so many interesting things that leave me overwhelmed.

But I will not miss the occasion to thank for this unexpected gem and my surprise at a so clear and clean sound both the recording and the digitization.
Have you clean it?
Too good for a cassette.

My Favorite Z. Maiga I have heard it before but I can not locate it.

WrldServ said...

@Ngoni: It really is a cassette. I have done nothing to it. But it helps if you digitise it using a good quality cassette player.

Koronya Mwambia said...

Hope you get the information you seek. Anyway just wanted to note how peculiar I find these man & wife groups. Now I've heard about 4 such in Mali [including Amadou & Mariam , Na Hawa and hers] and I wasn't even paying attention, so is this very common in Mali ?
The reason it intrigues me is that where i'm from music is often mentioned in the same breath with drunkenness and prostitution thus rarely see a non religious singing couple.

NGONI said...

Guimba singing !


NGONI said...

Seny & Safoura are active and in good shape, they still living in San.