May 8, 2014

Oumar Konate | Addoh

ARTIST: Oumar Konate
TITLE: Addoh
LABEL: Clermont Music
Times are tough in Mali, just two years removed from the fundamentalist takeover of its northern region, but nothing seems able to slow down the flow of top-notch music from that country. The latest case in point is Oumar Konate, a young guitarist from Gao. This is his debut international recording as leader, and it’s very impressive. The stylistic range is broad: 2 is slow, amped-up desert blues with sizzling guitar work, 3 is Songhai blues in the manner of Ali Farka Toure, 6 is a funky workout with galloping percussion, 7 surprises with a mix of overdriven guitar and the Debo Band horn section, and 12 is Mande traditional music in duet with kora player Sidiki Diabate (Toumani’s son). Konate’s guitar playing is his calling card – he has the same rock-influenced shredding instinct that characterizes the better-known Bombino. And he has more to offer than his virtuosity: he’s a compelling singer and songwriter as well. With this album and his current USA tour (stopping in Richmond on May 24), he’s making a strong introduction.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    6    7    12
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