CDs, books and DVDs

Rate Red Earth

★★★★★ off the hook
★★★★ really dig it
No votes
★★★ pretty good
No votes
★★ listenable
No votes
★ sucks
No votes
User avatar
By bops
Red Earth by Dee Dee Bridgewater

If you love Malian music, you'll love this album. Or, if you're like me and love the reunion of Malian music with its lost child, jazz, then this album will quickly become one of your favorites. I give this one five stars.

Dee Dee Bridgewater, having apprenticed with the legendary Ella Fitzgerald for many years, is a highly acclaimed jazz singer in her own right. With this release, she finds her inner voice, and she has clearly been bit by the Mali bug.

The arrangements were done by Malian music legend Cheikh Tidiane Seck. The musicians include an all-star cast of Malian musicians, including vocalists Oumou Sangaré, Ramata Diakite and Mamani Keita, ngonifola Baba Sissoko, Zoumana Tereta (Soku), Lansin Kouyate on bala, Mamadou Cherif Soumano on kora, and Adama Diarra shredding the double cowskin jembes (among many others). Bassekou Kouyate's group "Ngoni Ba" is featured on one of the tracks. They are joined by Dee Dee's world-class jazz trio. The musicianship is top, the arrangements are top, and the recording is top. What more can I say?


1. Afro Blue
2. Bad Spirits (Bani)
3. Dee Dee
4. Mama Don't Ever Go Away
5. Long Time Ago
6. Children Go 'Round
7. The Griots (Sakhodougou)
8. Oh My Love (Djarabi)
9. Four Women
10. No More (Bambo)
11. Red Earth (Massane Cissé)
12. Meanwhile
13. Compared to What

User avatar
By e2c
AMAZING!!! [not yelling; just being emphatic]

The way they integrated Afro-Cuban jazz *and* Malian music on the opening cut is just... not something I ever thought I'd hear done half that well, ever. Those tama solos are killer!!! But I'm liking the Malian pieces more than anything...

There's no way this kind of seamless fusion could have been pulled off by someone who's not from W. Africa. Mad, mad props to Cheikh Tidiane Seck (always worth hearing!) and *all* of the musicians ....

And my hat is off to Dee Dee for being willing to try this out. She's (basically) not well known here in the US, and I can see why/how living in France has paid off for her. :D

I am sad, though, that this album has gotten so little promotion/press coverage/airplay here in the US... this is far better than 90+% of the "world music" titles that do get attention here.

(you guys might think I'm nuts, but even since I started taking djembe lessons and listening to Malian djembe/dun music, I've felt like there's a real kinship between some black American pop styles - like go go, from the D.C. area - and Malian rhythms. A *lot* of kinship, even though the American rhythms are played much "straighter" than the US ones. My thought is that some of the american rhythms would *be* almost Malian if swung just a little differently...)

Edited to add: you know what would be really cool? if someone like Dee Dee took African American kids' songs and jump-rope chants (like "Little Sally Walker") and took them into a studio with folks like the Malians on this album... Hmm....

bops wrote:When I played this for Abdoul Doumbia (a self-proclaimed lover of the blues), his reaction was priceless.

:o :D :dance:
I can imagine... ;)
User avatar
By e2c
bubudi wrote:mare sanogo played djembe on that album as well
The credits list is about a yard long.

To wit -
Dee Dee Bridgewater: vocals
Edsel Gómez: piano
Ira Coleman: bass
Minino Garay: drums, caxixi, cajón, percussion, cymbals
Baba Sissoko: vocals, tamani, n'goni
Lansiné Kouyaté: balafon
'Petit' Adama Diarra: djembe
Laminé Tounkara: doum-doum
Cheick Tidiane Seck: shakeres, karignan, vocals, Fender Rhodes, calebasse, Hammond B3 organ
Kassé Mady Diabaté: vocals
Djelimady Tounkara: guitar
Fantamady Kouyaté: guitar
Toumani Diabaté: kora
Habib 'Dia' Sangaré: bolon
Alou Kouloubali: calebasse
Mamani Keita: vocals
Zoumana Tereta: sokou
Cherif Soumano: kora
Kabiné Kouyaté: vocals
Fatou Diawara: vocals
Fatoumata 'Mama' Kouyaté: vocals
Ramata Diakité: vocals
Benogo Diakité: kamalengoni
Kassim Sidibé: kamalengoni
Habib 'Dia' Sangaré: bolon
Ami Sacko: vocals
Bassékou Kouyaté: n'goni
Omar Kouyaté: n'goni
Moussa Bah: n'goni
Andra Kouyaté: n'goni
Gabriel Durand: guitar
Moussa Sissoko: tamani, djabara, shakeres
Aly Wagué: flute Peul
Lansiné Kouyaté: balafon
Moriba Koita: n'goni
Oumou Sangaré: vocals
Cheick Oumar 'Sékou': djembe
Yahkouba Sissokho: kora
Maré Sanogo: doum-doum
Tata 'Bamba' Kouyaté: vocals
Modibo Kouyaté: guitar
Adama Tounkara: n'goni
Mamadou Diabaté: kora
'Djifli' Mamadou Sanogo: djembé
'Pepito' Sekouba Kouyaté: tamani
Oumou Sacko: vocals
Fati Kouyaté: vocals
Ami Sacko: vocals
Jacob Soubeiga: guitar
Moussa Sissokho: djembé
Lassy 'King' Massassy: vocals
* This list might not be complete; it appears to list personnel track by track. (Grabbed it from a website.)