Boubacar Traoré

Je Chanterai Pour Toi

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While not a new album as such, this movie soundtrack confirms Boubacar Traoré's iconic status in his native Mali. The music is his journey, from his home city of Kayes to Bamako, and through his life, with a special focus on his late wife, Pierrette, who's beautifully celebrated on this version of "Adieu Pierrette." Plenty of people come out to help, including guitarist Ali Farka Touré on "Diarabi," "Duma Me Yelema," and "Improvisation 2," while rising star Rokia Traoré and her band back him on a live version of "Sa Golo." Essentially, this is a celebration of the man, his life, and the music he's made, which makes it only fair that it should close with a pair of vintage tracks, including the 1963 cut that first made his name, "Mali Twist," which he used to perform on the radio every morning for the newly independent country. Traoré's songs and playing are hauntingly bluesy, although they're not really the blues. But they come from some deep, mystical place within. If ever anyone sang with his heart, it's Boubacar Traoré.

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