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Guitar Fo Import

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Audio CD, Import, July 13, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: World Village USA
  • ASIN: B00029RRVE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,087 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Biduman
2. Bala Koura
3. Dabia Baba
4. Ikanam Minala
5. Guitar Fö
6. Wati
7. Dianamo
8. Ahmed Sekou
9. Diamond Fingers
10. Mangue
11. Mohamed Diabaté

Editorial Reviews

Lovers of West African guitar styles probably already know Sekou Diabate from his dazzling guitar solos that have defined the sound of Guinea's Bembeya Jazz for over four decades now. Somewhat implausibly, though, he has rarely recorded as a leader, which makes his new Guitar Fo even more welcome. Diabate, who garnered the appropriate nickname "Diamond Fingers" in the 1970s, is widely regarded as perhaps the top electric guitar soloist to emerge from West Africa along with Djelimady Tounkara from Mali's Super Rail Band, and "Guitar Fo" does justice to that reputation. Backed by the rock-solid rhythm section from Bembeya Jazz, Diabate's guitar is front and center on the 11 cuts here, which range from gorgeously lyrical ballads like "Bala Koura" and "Wati" to scorchers like the title track and "Diamond Fingers." Diabate and Bembeya Jazz came of age in the 1960s, when Cuban music was sweeping West Africa and influencing everyone from Senegal's Orchestra Baobab to Ghanaian highlife bands like E.T. Mensah. That influence still shines through today on Guitar Fo when Sekou plays montuno-like guitar figures on the title song and on the near cha-cha rhythms of "Ahmed Sekou," and other influences peek through too--like the Salif Keita-like griot singing style of Safiata Conde on two tracks and the Hawaiian slide guitar on "Dianamo." Though it all, the album is a testament to Sekou's range and lyricism, his beautifully ringing guitar tone the sound of a true master in his own home. --Ezra Gale

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on December 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After listening to this glorious music many times over, I wonder why this man is not an international superstar. The master of a singular guitar style--widely imitated, never duplicated, let alone surpassed--Sekou Diabate still remains a figure of some obscurity. Yes, he has a reputation among cognoscenti of Guinean popular music, most accessibly purveyed through the group Bembaya Jazz, around since 1961 (!). Yet one wonders why a player of his accomplishment nevertheless languishes is relative obscurity.

This self-taught master of acoustic/electric guitar, who has forged a sound uniquely his own, a kind of amalgam of kora and balafon styles adapted to guitar and filtered through West African popular music approaches, surely belongs atop any delineation of guitar herodom. One detects everything from country blues to Bayou to reggae to sui generis Africanisms in his uniquely crafted approach to his instrument.

Pure joy.
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Format: Audio CD
Most regular listeners of African popular or world music are already familiar with Sekou Diabate as 'Diamond Fingers" Diabate, the leader of Guinea's most popular band Bembaya Jazz National.

 Sekou Diabate's GUITAR FO is a bit different from Bembaya Jazz recordings, as it's not with a full band playing loud electric dance music - in fact, on some tunes the guitar sounds completely acoustic and on others, like a fat-bodied, semi-acoustic electric guitar.
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