Foday Musa Suso – The two worlds

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Bearing striking similarity to the Celtic music of the British Isles, Foday Musa Suso’s dancing yet melancholy playing and singing shows how various world musics have cross-fertilized throughout
the centuries.  His role as chronicler of his people’s stories and history also places him in a similar position to the bard of Celtic lands.  And his playing of the kora, a
twenty-three stringed West African harp lute, sounds much like the playing of traditional Celtic harpists, especially on “Beach Party,” “Lovers Dance,” and “Traveler.”  Other numbers sound a
lot more African: “African Sunshine,” “Simaya Dua,” “Desert Wedding Dance,” and “Makola Markets.

I’m a little puzzled about the title of this disc, The Two Worlds, because it sounds like it almost entirely occupies only one world—that of the traditional Mandingo griot.  Perhaps the more
Celtic-sounding numbers, plus the addition of Western percussion overlays (“Desert Wedding Dance” and “Makola Markets”), not to mention the westernized song titles, indicates a deeper blending of
sensibilities than is obvious on the surface. Or maybe it’s simply because Suso has spent much of his adult life in the West, living in Chicago and recording for more than fourteen (!) record
labels. 

Throughout his long career, Suso has managed to place himself in a variety of fascinating contexts, such as Carnegie Hall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Franfurt
International Jazz Festival, and the Cultural Center in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  He has also performed on the film soundtracks Roots, Powaqqatsi, and Mountain of the Moon, and was a founder,
with Adam Rudolph, of the Mandingo Griot Society.  This wide variety of experience he deftly incorporates into his traditional kora playing, giving it a complexity, subtlety, and vitality
beyond what is found in most other practitioners of this somewhat static music.

by Jan P. Dennis

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Origine du Groupe : Gambia

Style : World Music

Sortie  2008

TrackList:

1 – Beach Party

2 – Maliba

3 – Many Faces

4 – Summer Time

5 – Lovers Dance

6 – African Sunshine

7 – Simaya Dua

8 – Desert Wedding Dance

9 – Traveler

10 – Makola Markets

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