Ablaye Cissoko/Volker Goetze
When I listen to Amanké Dionti I wonder what Miles Davis or John Coltrane would have thought of the musical marriage. The recording fits easily and comfortably into jazz and world music. I would even squeeze it into world classical and if a new ager didn’t reflect on the socio-political messages of the modern griot songs, the relaxing tones of the trumpet and the kora would definitely appeal to this group too. The overall sound exudes tranquility and beauty. I realize that it’s almost a cliché to call the music here breathtaking, but it is, in the same way that a magical sunset causes us to pause and gape at its beauty. This is the type of music that fills every cell of the body with health and vitality.
Cissoko’s melancholic vocals float over the kora’s arpeggios and Goetze ghostly trumpet on Kana Maloundi. In contrast, the titular track sets a different mood, of hope that glimmers with the kora’s shimmery tones and warm honeyed vocals. Haiti features a muted trumpet playing in tandem with the kora and this track that was originally produced for the film Griot by Volker Goetze is my favorite on this recording. In fact, Cissoko’s soaring vocals give me chills.
I believe that this CD was actually mailed to me last year, but was lost on route. Then when I read other journalists’ top ten list on the World Music Central site, I felt like reviewing it. After all, I was one of those music journalists who fell in love with Sira in 2008.