Sorry Bamba Volume 1: 1970-1979

Sorry Bamba Volume 1: 1970-1979
The gold rush of Malian music continues; it remains amazing how this relatively small country has become almost as synonymous with West African music as its much larger, more prosperous, internationally connected neighbour, Nigeria. However, as Martin Scorsese ham-handedly traced in his blues documentary, the music resonates throughout North American musical forms. Sorry Bamba's music is given its best exposure ever thanks to Thrill Jockey's ever-increasing interest in African music. This is pretty lively collection of '70s music, when Mali was still in a funny balance between traditional or neo-traditional sounds and all-out dance bands like the Rail Band. Great guitar grooves permeate this compilation, but one of the most bewitching elements is the droning organ in most songs. Even a straight up rumba track like "Astan Kelly" is made much spookier with this ingredient. Standout track "Sekou Amadou" is a spellbinding slow burner, at nearly nine minutes long. (Thrill Jockey)