Hank Jones with Cheick-Tidiane Seck & The Mandinkas Sarala 180g 2LP

Hank Jones

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Fantastic 1995 Album On 180g Vinyl 2LP!
Afro-Pop & Jazz Come Together!

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Released in 1995, Sarala marked its time by generating a genuine enthusiasm for Mandingo music, encouraging many Western musicians to go to Mali and explore this music at its very source. Fruit of the reunion of Hank Jones (an African-American musician and one of the most gifted pianists of his generation) and Cheick-Tidiane Seck (a reputed arranger, band-leader, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mali) the album is a symbiosis - one of the spirit and the heart - of two genres.

Few people would probably associate Jones - one of the finest pianists that jazz has ever known, and a man who has played with everyone from Charlie Parker to Tony Williams - with contemporary Afro-pop; yet this album is an infectiously grooving example of just that, featuring the remarkably versatile pianist alongside a stellar cast of musicians from the West African nation of Mali. At first glance, the Malian pop music that is featured on this cross-cultural outing would seem to be light-years from the kind of harmonically sophisticated jazz that Jones has played throughout most of his long and distinguished career. The chord changes that ordinarily undergird Jones' elegantly constructed solos are conspicuously absent from Malian music, which derives much of its unique flavor from the complex rhythmic interplay between electric guitars, keyboards, and traditional African instruments. Nonetheless, Jones plays this material as if he were born to it.
-Alexander Gelfan,, 4/5 stars


  • 180g Vinyl
  • Double LP
  • Made in Poland


Hank Jones piano
Cheick-Tidiane Seck musical director, Hammond B-3 organ, percussion, lead vocals on 2 & 7
Manfila Kante lead guitar on 9
Diely-Moussa Kouyate rhythm guitar, lead on 8
Sekou Bembeya Diabate bass guitar
Cesar Anot bass guitar, backing vocals, percussion
Eric Vinceno double bass
Moussa Sissikho djembe, tama
Mare Sanogo doum-doum
Jorge Amorim percussion
Amina Annabi lead vocal on 8
Manian Damba backing vocals, solo on 9 & 11
Kasse-Mady Diabate lead vocals on 4 & 9
Tom Diakite backing vocals, lead on 5, percussion
Assitan "Mama" Keita backing vocals, solo on 7, percussion
Fatoumata "Mama" Kouyate vocal solo on 11
Aly Wague flute
Djeli-Moussa Conde kora
Lansine Kouyate balafon
Moriba Koïta n'goni
Ousmane Kouyate lead & rhythm guitar


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