Soungalo Coulibaly

Percussion and Songs from Mali

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Djembe player Soungalo Coulibaly here provides a number of songs from Mali and the surrounding region. His sound is something both traditional and contemporary in its structure, with vocals overlaying the each piece of music, and a pair of balafonists laying down the foundation layer for Coulibaly's virtuosic djembe passages. Perhaps even more stunning than his djembe virtuosity, one might note the incredible vocal passages from his wife, Mariam Doumbia. There's also a noteworthy passage of talking-drum usage in "Favreau," an instrumental number roughly halfway into the album. For a quick look at the basic focus of Malian music for the outsider, pick up this one for its ease of finding, and perhaps a superior sound to some of the grander attempts, such as L'Ensemble Instrumental du Mali. Other notable Malian artists are certainly available, such as Toumani Diabate and Ali Farka Toure, but here Coulibaly shines in his own right as a djembe player and bandleader.

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