For a workshop I will give in November, I am currently working on Wolosso. I have recordings of variours artist, but about 80% of my recordings are with Drissa Koné, reaching from the earliest recording of Gerhard Kero in 1991 (CD Kurabamako) to recordings from the Djembe Hotel in Bamako in 2011 -- so I have exactly what I was looking for more than a year ago and can examine
"how teaching students from around the world for a long time changes the style of an artist
My source are a total of 12 recordings with Drissa. It's not always safe to tell exactly how much teaching influenced Drissa's style on this rather thin basis. For one, he seems to vary his style according to who is recording and if he is performing for a serious recording or for a back-up of teaching. You can clearly tell how advanced the students have been from the recordings. The most advanced get the best stuff. So, the recordings for Gerhard Kero and Rainer Polak (see http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.10.16.4/polak_examples.php?id=32
) are the most interesting. Then, in a time span of 20 years, you can expect a drummer to change patterns in a rhythm, I guess. Drissa has favorite patterns for a rhythmic family that change with time like fashion.
Apart from this, i still think a strong influence of Drissas extensive teaching practice for international students is traceable in his style over the years. In gereral, he is playing more basic patterns today than in the 90's. and those patterns are more standardized, so it's easier to learn and teach them. In 1991, Drissa played during the biggest chunk of the recording just basic pattern 1:
os.|os.|..O|oos|s..|..S|sss|ss.| (big letters are two double time notes, o=tone, s=slap)
But he hardly plays this pattern the same way once. He has a ton of variations for it.
Today, he tends to play it in a very standardized way of cycles of 3:
The same is true for some of the most of the other basic patterns, and not only in Wolosso.
In 1991, he added a lot of times another pattern after basic pattern one and other occasions a pattern that I call (in imitation of Rainer Polak) a "joker", since this pattern is used like a basic pattern, an interface between basic patterns and an exit pattern by Drissa:
bs.|s.s|.s.|bs.|b$.|..S|sss|ss.| ($=muffled slap)
In 1999, on the recording that comes with Stephan Rigert's book on Mali rhythms, it developed into a sort of exit pattern: bs.|s.s|.s.|bs.|sss|..o|ooo|ss.| and is not connected to basic pattern 1 anymore. At least since 2005, it developed into basic pattern 3 that he also likes to play on Manjanin: bs.|s.s|..o|.o.|sss|..s|bss|bs.|
He even plays an overlaying extension of basic pattern 2 (=|...|oos|oos|ss.|...|..b|bbs|ss.|) as a seperated solo pattern (|...|..b|bbs|ssb|bbs|oob|bbs|ssb|bbs|oob|bbs|ssb|bbs|oos|oos|ssb|...)
Drissa also developed a standby pattern: Oos|ss.|Oos|ss.| into a basic pattern (4): Oos|ss.|Oos|ss.|b$.|...|...|...| and the has a new pattern based on the three slaps in the second measure of basic pattern 3: b|sss|..b||sss|..b||sss|...|..b| (bp5). I do see him playing those also for a dance class, so it may have been he developed those basic patterns for the need of accompanying the steps of a dance teacher.
But my best guess is that Drissa does this out of a necessity in teaching: his students are mostly not capable of grasping complex sequences of patterns, different variations, exit patterns, standby patterns, echauffements, interfaces and the like. Most of us are used to a method of teaching like this is solo 1-5, and you play them exactly like this and in this order.
It is interesting that Drissa plays a basic pattern mostly imitating the konkonin that he does not teach. He plays this pattern only for the recordings of Gerhard Kero and Rainer Polak:
bo|o.o|o.o|..§|.bo|o.o|..§|..§|.bo| (§=slap flam) The fact that he knows of another very teachable solopattern for woloso that he doesn't teach does contradict my thoery in part.
But not only the soloing changes much over time, the konkonin pattern does also. while the konkonin hardly ever changes in 1991 (o|o..|o..|ö..|ö..|o.o|..ö|..ö|..o|; ö= muffled stroke), it has lots of variations in 1999. this may be due to Stephan Rigert's demand to arrange the rhythms for an international market that is used to 3 duns. But some of the variations and the chauff pattern (o|o.o|..o|o.o|) can be found in every recording since 1999 (the intro is on most recordings since 1999). This may be an adjustment to the taste of international students but could also be due to the adaption of the khassonka dundun into drumming ensembles in Bamako and it's influence on the style of konkonin playing in ensembles without a khassonka dundun.
Only in the recordings of 2005, Drissa teaches a transition into what he calls Wolossodon Brokaf'n
(ö..|ö..|o.o|.o.|o.o|..ö|..ö|..ö|). That I like very much. Those recordings are both very teachable and musically satisfying.
I don't know what "Brokaf'n means, though, and would appreciate to learn about this in case some of you guys knows...
Overall, I would say that the new recordings differ from the older ones in a richer basis of standard pattern, but those patterns are much more standardized and lack the richness of exploration in ever changing variations.