Mamady Keita relases Hakili a new CD / DVD

For anyone that missed it Mamady Keita and Sewa Kan has released a new album and DVD on the 21st of October. The album was released to mark 50 years of music. Mamady and Sewa Kan have been touring in Belgium for most of the last month (November). The final date on this tour is on the 5th of December in Tournai, Belgium.

I’m really surrised and disappointed that they haven’t come to France yet, but hopefully they will soon.

Mamady Keita Hakili album cover

If you’re lucky enough to be in the right country you can listen to this album right now on deezer.

It is not yet available on Spotify, but since the rest of his catalogue is, I guess it’s just a matter of time. For those of you who are continualy upset at not being able to access content because you are in the wrong country you might want to check out proxy services like those provided by Ace VPN.

Overall the album is a bit more melodic than Mamady’s previous albums.

The opening track Hakili, starts with a nice break and then all guns blazing, with plenty of balafon and Kora backing it up.

Then the second track, Saran Kenyi, surprises us with some saxophone action. Some traditionalists aren’t too happy about this, and there have been people complaining. I’m not too surprised, sinced it’s not the first time we’ve seen a saxophone on stage with Mamady. Who could forgot the “Lai lai ko” riff for djole on Mamady’s Mogabalu DVD. It doesn’t need to be said that Mamady can do what he wants anyway, and I’m glad that he’s happy to push a few boundaries.

I usually prefer live recordings of djembe music to studio albums, and I like that this album was recorded live. You really get a bit of a loose, live party feeling with this CD, compared to his previous studio albums.

There’s some spine chilling fluting on Sundjata Fasa, then it goes into some farely normal kora and then into a really familiar melody, though I don’t know the exact song. Then the song develops into some pretty Jeli type praise singing with a little call and response with the crowd. All this is backed up by some really nice balafon, flute and Kora.

Over all a really nice break from those noisy djembes that are always banging on 😉 until the last minute that is, when we are reminded that this is after a celebration of a djembefola.

The last track Matoto starts with a nice long break, and loads of great solos with really cool dunduns too. This may not be enough to appease some who wish the whole album was like this.

All in all, I like this CD, it’s very different to other Mamady cds, and I think I’ll be enjoying for a while to come. It nearly doesn’t seem fair to compare it to classics like Wassolon, but it’s certainly not likely to go down as a classic.

The DVD can only be bought as a part of a DVD cd box set at Cristal Records.
The album is available on iTunes and Amazon:

You can also get a real flavour of this concert here.

Author: James

James loves music, especially Djembe drum music. He has been studying traditional djembe drumming since 2004. Nearly all his free time goes into developing

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