March 12, 2011

Mandingo Griot Society

This, the first album by the Mandingo Griot Society, is not simply a different
form of fusion music. True, it does combine traditional African instruments with a contemporary American rhythm section: electric bass, drum set, and percussion. But it is, in fact, a reuniting, a coming to¬gether of two musical cultures with a common origin. For it should be understood that the African creative process, spiritual in its essence, has always been the root of American "fusion" musics, most significantly jazz, funk, and blues.
Since the work of Alex Haley, author of Roots, has reached the American public there has been a heightened awareness of African culture in general and Mandingo traditions in particular. (The Mandingo people live in the West African countries of Senegal, Gambia,Guinea, and Mali. Among the Mandingos it is the Gnats, through their singing and recitation of history, who forge a link between those traditions and the present.
Foday Musa Suso is a young Griot from The Gambia whose musical skills on the 21-string kora, and knowledge of Mandingo history, were taught to him from within his family, as is the traditional manner. Musa's ancestry can be traced back through generations of Gnats to Jalimadi Woleng Suso, the first kora player. Some of the songs on this album are in fact several hundred years old (Janjungo, Chedol; others are of more contemporary origin.
Through working and performing together the Mandingo Griot Society seeks to present the historical and cultural sig¬nificance of these beautiful songs to a Western audience. However, the creativity of the band is not confined by its African foundation. The Mandingo Griot Society maintains a world perspective and seeks inspiration in the creative expression of all people.
Linear notes

How the fishermen used to paddle their canoes.
Makan, great hunter, who never fails any time he sounds his gun.
A woman who puts on the Appollo dress has beautiful eyes; she has a long beautiful neck.
The war between the Fulanis and the Mandingos.
Why don't you visit Africa, I know you'll like it.
Remember Fakoli Kruma, the bravest, loyal friend of the great warrior and ruler Sundiata...
Let's visit Mamamaneh who wants me to play for her because she likes my kora.
The festival drumming of the Jola people.
The women who want me to stay late to play for them.

JOSEPH THOMAS: Fender Tap bass, shakers, vocals.
HANK DRAKE: trap drums, tabia, bells, shakers, vocals.
JALI FODAY MUSA SUSO: kora, lead vocals, dusungorn, shakers.
ADAM RUDOLPH: congas, bongos, timbales, djembe, tabl, achimevu, shekere, dundungo, bells, shakers, vocals.
Special guest artist DON CHERRY on trumpet

Excuse me for for not being able to let a chance to say thegoodone pass by.

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