September 14, 2013

Dosoke Cery

With the holiday period over and business returning to normal I am hoping to find more time for this blog. Particularly I hope to post a few of the albums, cassettes and recordings I have promised in previous posts.

I would like to start with an album I referred to in a post more than two years ago. And I am not going to repeat what I wrote then, so this can be a short post.
This lp, recorded in Abidjan in 1979, is not my favourite by Djelimadi Tounkara and the Rail Band du Mali, but it does have some of my favourite tracks by the orchestra. I agree with Graeme Counsel (see my earlier post and Graeme's notes on his website) on "Dosoke Cery", but prefer the opening track of side A, "Koulandjan", to "Djiguiya". While the organ (played by Cheikh Tidiane Seck) is slightly irritating, particularly because of the thin sound, horns and guitars are nicely proportioned in this Malinké classic. Djelimadi himself (lead guitar) is great on all the tracks, and please also note the rhythm guitar, played with considerable flair and subtlety.
The singers on this album, Sekou Kanté and Sekou Kouyaté, are okay but not exceptional, and certainly not of the same level as Mory Kanté or Salif Keita. In songs like "Trio Mandingue" their harmony is a bit awkward and tends to create an atmosphere of sullen boredom.

As I mentioned I don't share the enthousiasm for the track "Djiguiya". This may have to do with Cheikh Tidiane Seck's dominant role in this song and my general aversion to 'funky tunes'.

To me the star of this album is the wonderful version of "Dosoke Cery". All the elements fall into place in this song. I write "version" because if you listen carefully you may hear the similarity between the melodic theme of this song and that of "Diabaté Zani" by the Super Djata Band. This theme is, of course, derived from the music of the hunters (donso); a line of stars of the donso ngoni music is mentioned*. "Dosoke Cery" is brilliantly understated and jubilant at the same time. The jubilation is provided by the superb interaction between rhythm and lead guitar, the understating is done by both organ and singer.
I am sure many of you won't agree, but I am of the opinion that the organ is superfluous and the song would be even better without it. The organ partially neutralises the tension generated by the two guitars and the vocal. Despite this critical note, "Dosoke Cery" is still a great song.

Disco Stock DS 7919

*for example Toumani Koné and Batoma Sanogo, both of whom will featuring in upcoming posts.


David said...

good to have you back - with strong views as ever! Looking forward to hearing this - thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yes, good to have you back. I wanted to hear this lp for a long time. Thank you.

Mark said...

I apologize for what I'm about to write, but I don't know how to get a hold of you otherwise. Simply, I am going to start a DJ night here in Washington, DC (this coming Thursday, Sept 19), which will feature African music. I'm calling it La Belle Epoque and wanted to make you and the other fans of this music aware, since I'm quite sure some of you come to DC from time to time. This is my favorite blog related to this music, so I wanted to at least let you know that you've inspired me to make this happen. I'm happy to provide details (location/time) if it's of interest.

NGONI said...

Lots to comment on this short album, the most interesting would be to know who are the musicians, for example the line-up in the winds, they are fantastic, I will focus now only in Dozo Cery, for me too is the star, I would like to know who is the second guitar playing the right channel,
Sekou Kouyaté of Koulikoro, and also his voice?

Sekou Kouyaté made ​​a very similar song (Fanion Diarra), with the same text, naming the same donsos, even Cery (one Donso?), in his first recording in France, casually we find Djeneba Seck too, accompanying Aboubacar Kissa in Maliba, another song that seems to mirror the song Djata Zani.

WrldServ said...

@Mark: Please mail me via the address in my profile.
Using the comments for these kind of requests is - I regret to say - setting a bad example, given the amount of rubbish that already arrives in my mailbox...

WrldServ said...

@Ngoni: The "second guitar" is what I referred to as the rhythm guitar. I have no idea who is playing, but it could be Sekou Kouyaté.
I did not want to distract the focus, so I did not mention other versions of "Dosoke Cery". But I agree there are quite a few more.

Aboubacar Kissa a.k.a. Cubain is probably interpreting "Bomama", which he sung with Super Biton. See the Balandzan post in October 2009.

jan duinkerken said...

Thank you!!

NGONI said...

Thank you very much for pointing Bomana,I had forgotten that name, I had searched that song before, without success.

Anyone know who or what is Cery?
I wonder if "Cery" will be the nickname of Siraman Konare, the first Donso named in the song.

On rhythm guitar, which I find delicious, I think not the style of Sekou Kouyaté, rather reminds me of the shape of Segou, is playing a similar style tht use to play Backary "Djan" Traoré, one of the guitarists of Abdoulaye Diabaté.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you posting once more. And since our views coincide on the matter of funk, it's good to find you with such reasonable opinions.

calumbinho said...

Thanks so much for this album which has been on my wish list for a good while... I'm glad this one's not too "commercial" or "funky" for you, he he... Anyway, I'm thoroughly enjoying it.