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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.
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Made in Poland
|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|
|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|
|Ousmane Kouyate||lead & rhythm guitar|