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I Speak Fula

Bassekou Kouyate, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni BaAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2010 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2010 $14.98  
Audio CD, 2010 --  
Vinyl, 2010 $34.04  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B0037TPPEM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

2010 release. Malian maestro Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso picker and visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music. Bassekou's intrument, the ngoni, is a "spike lute" and an ancestor of the banjo. Kouyate leads his band Ngoni Ba, the first-ever group built around not one but four ngonis-all played by members of his family. I Speak Fula builds on the artist's previous album and guests several pan-Malian notables, Toumani Diabate, Kasse Mady Diabate, Zouamana Tereta and Vieux Farka Toure.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Blues from Mali July 15, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
****1/2: In follow-up to their award-winning album "Segu Blue", Bassekou Kouyate and his band (and name of his stringed instrument) Ngoni Ba join up with other notable musicians of Mali, Toumani Diabate and Vieux Farka Toure, to provide a splendid recording that promotes tolerance among the various ethnicities of his nation. (Kouyate is Banama; Fula is another ethnic people.) Richly illustrated, the well-designed liner notes explain what each song is about and its history; but the music is what is key and, here, it is simulataneously deep and festive, like the blues. Indeed, African- American blues and the music of much of Mali are interwoven, which is why we are so readily attracted to Bassekou Kouyate and his other musician colleagues. Their minor key harmonies and the various timbre and outstanding picking of kora, electric guitar, and ngoni combine with the passonate vocals of Amy Saco, Kasse Mady Dibate, and bass Andra Kouate. The album, incidentally produced by BBC3's musical globetrotter Lucy Duran, sometimes sends us into a dance groove and other times into quiet reflection. This is a first-rate recording, although not as uniformly excellent as Kouyate's first album. The music often tends to break down into a jam session as individuals get astray with their solos. Still, if you enjoyed "Segu Blue", do not hestitate acquiring "I Speak Fula". There is much, much to enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars don't speak fula April 6, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As a fan of african music I can recommend this album as a way of getting into the genre. The ngoni, an African lute, has a very distinctive sound which Kouyatte and his band bring to its height. The first album 'Segu Blue' is just as good. If you've never got into African music this is a way to appreciate the rhythms that they acheive.
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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts of a Fula March 9, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The nicest thing most people can think to say about my musical tastes is they are eclectic which generally means they don't like what
I'm playing but they don't want to hurt my feelings.
So you've been warned.
As to this album and Bassekou Kouyate I say play on. Since King Sunny I have had fascination with African rhythms. I find this album fully satisfies that fascination. Bassekou can get more out of the simple ngoni than Mark Sandman could get out of a one string bass (and, to be clear, I loved the music of the Sandman).
The shear energy and love of music that this album represents is fresh and familiar. For me it takes a little getting used to but the more I listen the more I hear and I like what I hear.
Give it a chance, you won't be sorry.
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