13 Oct


For many hundreds of years, the Maninka people of Guinea and Mali have promulgated one of the world’s great stringed-instrument traditions. Indigenous harps and lutes have always predominated in this music, but around 50 years ago an influential innovator called Facelli Kanté introduced the guitar to Maninka music. One of his nephews, Kanté Manfila, further modernized the tradition, playing the lead electric guitar in Les Ambassadors in the 1970s and ‘1980s. Manfila’s younger brother, Djessou Mory Kanté, is best-known as the guitarist that such world-renowned singers as Salif Keita and Sekouba Bambino engage when they want the best. River Strings is an album of beautifully-crafted instrumentals, impeccably recorded in Salif Keita’s Studio Moffou in Bamako, Mali.Djessou Mory Kanté‘s acoustic and electric guitars — understated but masterly, gentle but beguiling — are accompanied by bass, percussion and, on two pieces, the supporting guitar of the Super Rail Band‘s Djelimady Tounkara.(SternsMusic)



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