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New Dimensions in Rail Culture [Vinyl] Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Vinyl, Import, March 11, 2005
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 11, 2005)
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Globe Style
  • ASIN: B0008ENIDY
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,382,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 16, 2015
Format: MP3 Music
SRB started life in the 1970s as resident band in the Buffet Bar of the Hotel-de-la-Garre in Bamako, and were initially sponsored by the Ministry of Information of the Government of Mali.

Many careers were launched by this band, the most notable being that of Salif Keita who initially sang at the back of the stage with his head covered by a towel due to the perceived disgrace of someone from the Royal household lowering himself to sing in front of an audience!

This eponymously-titled 2013 re-release features an ensemble of musicians and singers led by the outstanding guitar work of Djelimady Tounkara. Two of the Keita family clan feature on this album - Fortigui on bass, and Kabine plays saxophone - and 4 French `musiciens additionelles' are also featured, mainly horn players who beef-out the sound on some numbers.

SRB were the first to combine Cuban dance music from the 1960s (which entered Mali via the Congo) with jazz, and blend the concoction with the traditional Malian Griot praise-singer tradition, Bambara and other West African styles. The resulting brew is intoxicating, and just makes you want to get up and dance.
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Now that I've awarded this five stars, I'm trying to express what there is a about it that gives me so much pleasure. I imagine myself strolling into the Buffet Hotel in Bamako. There's a not-too-dimly lit, not very crowded dance floor. And there aren't too many people actually dancing; they're mostly just strolling or sashaying around like I am. And the band is playing, not on a stage but all around the room. Over there, there are a few guys singing a chorus. Right here in front of me, a sax or guitar soloist does a few licks. The mood is always upbeat but never hyped up. I'm not "listening" to the music, I'm inside it. So cool!

I've been to Bamako, but never to the Buffet. I admire a lot of Malian music, but feel so close to the Super Rail Band.
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