Boubacar Traoré – Mali Denhou – Lusafrica 562492 [Distr. by Harmonia mundi] ****:
(Boubacar Traoré, guitar/vocals; Vincent Bucher, harmonica; Madieye Niang, calabash; Fassery Diabaté, balafon; Mahamadou Kamissoko, ngoni)
Acclaimed Malian guitarist/vocalist Boubacar Traoré returns after a six-year recording hiatus with a terrific collection of songs that seamlessly blends West African rhythms, Delta blues tropes, and ensemble and individual performances.
Backed by Vincent Bucher (harmonica), Madieye Niang (calabasse), Fassery Diabaté (balafon) and Mahamadou Kamissoko (ngoni), Traoré’s sound is mellifluous and warm, his songs gentle and natural. Bucher’s harmonica often seems to function as a co-vocal with Traoré, reinforcing the organic genre transcendence here. Standout tracks include “Minuit,” “N’Dianamogo,” the bouncy “Mondeou” (the title track), and the Arabic-influenced “Fama.” A most-welcome return.
M’Badehou, Dundobesse M’Bedouniato, Mondeou, Mali Denhou, Minuit, Farafina Loro Lara, Djougouya Niagnini, N’Dianamogo, Fama, Kankan Baro, Mali Tchebaou