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Boulevard de l'Indépendance

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    In February, Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté received a Grammy for In the Heart of the Moon, his intimate collaboration with the late, great African guitarist Ali Farka Touré. That recording was part of a three-part series called The Hotel Mandé Sessions, which was recorded at Bamako, Mali’s Hotel Mandé by Nick Gold and his World Circuit team, including longtime engineering collaborator Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club). In July 2006, World Circuit / Nonesuch released another album from the series, the debut of Diabaté’s pan-African Symmetric Orchestra, Boulevard de l’Indépendance.  

    A five-star review by London’s The Times said, “if there is any justice, the Malian master of the West African harp known as the kora should pick up another GRAMMY for his new record because there won’t be a better African album this year.” The Independent gave the album four stars and called it “a triumph.”

    Over the last decade, Diabaté and his Symmetric Orchestra have performed almost every Friday night at Bamako’s Hogon club. They have become one of the most popular bands in the city’s vast music scene, celebrated across West Africa and beyond. Like the new album’s title—taken from the main road that bisects Bamako—the group’s name refers to a balance between tradition and progress: music preserved from the Mandé Empire that once connected West Africa and contemporary dance-music styles. The Symmetric Orchestra comprises players from Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali, and its instrumentation includes electric guitar, bass, and drums, as well as the more traditional kora, ngoni, and balafon.

    Boulevard de l’Indépendance captures the Symmetric Orchestra’s singular sound, which in nine tracks spans everything from age-old Mandé standards to Cuban-Senegalese salsa. The album was recorded in two weeks of all-night sessions and features a string section, a horn section arranged by Pee Wee Ellis, and singers including the local hero Kasse Mady Diabaté.

    Fifty-fourth in a hereditary line of master musicians and griots, Toumani Diabaté is simultaneously revered as the guardian of an ancient musical tradition and as a bold, boundary-crossing experimentalist. He has earned acclaim for inventive solo records as well as collaborations with Blur’s Damon Albarn, American bluesman Taj Mahal, and the flamenco group Ketama, among others.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Toumani Diabaté, kora karignan, musical director
    Fanta Mady Koyaté, lead guitar
    Alhassane Kanouté, rhythm guitar
    Ousseïn Tounkara, bass, guitar (9)
    Amadou Guitteye, acoustic guitar (9)
    Mamadou “Santiago” Kouyaté, acoustic guitar (2)
    Fodé Lassane Diabaté, balafon
    Adama Tounkara, Bassékou Kouyaté, Ganda Tounkara, ngoni
    Sekou Kanté, Etienne Mbappé, bass
    Mamadou Fofana, keyboards, Peul flute
    Alex Wilson, piano (5)
    Fodé Kouyaté, Brice Wassy, drums
    Yaya Faye, Souleymane Faye, Mamadou Tounkara, Mohamed Coulibaly, sabar
    Mahamadou Kouyaté, Bandiougou Kouyaté, ntama
    Dramane Coulibaly, djembe
    Lamine Toukara, dundun, bell
    Roberto Pla, timbales, MC (5)
    Dlalekan Babalola, congas, triangle
    Soumaila Kanouté, lead vocals (1), chorus vocals
    Kasse Mady Diabaté, lead vocals (3, 7)
    Mangala Camara, lead vocals (4)
    Tiecoro Sissoko, lead vocal (7), chorus vocals
    Moussa Diabaté, lead vocals (5, 8, 9), chorus vocals
    Morissanda Kamissoko, lead vocals (6)
    Mamdou Camara, spoken voice (9)
    Mamadou Kouyaté, Ramama Sylla, Koumba Avian Tounuino, Fatim Sylla, chorus vocals
    Pee Wee Ellis, Mike Smith, tenor & baritone sax, horn arrangements
    Matt Holland, Chris Storr, Byron Wallen, Sid Gould, trumpet
    Trevor Mires, Matt Colman, Fayyaz Virji, trombone
    Simon Hale, string arrangements, conductor
    Gavyn Wright, Perry Montague-Mason, Patrick Kiernan, Julian Leaper, Bruce White, violin
    Dave Daniels, cello

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    A World Circuit Production
    Produced by Nick Gold
    Recorded and mixed by Jerry Boys
    Recorded at the Hotel Mandé, Bamako, Mali
    Technical Support: Peter Martelli
    Assistant Recording Engineer: Yves Wernert
    Second Assistant Recording Engineer: Ibrahim Tankara
    Assistant to Yves Wernert: Ibrahim Coulibaly
    Additional recording at Studio Bogolan, Bamako, by Yves Wernert; and at Livingston Studios, London, by John Mallison
    Mixed at Livingston Studios, London
    Assistant Mix Engineers: Graham Dominy and Tom Bailey
    Mastered by Tom Leader and Jerry Boys
    Production Supervisor: Sara Daoud

    Tracks 2, 4, 6-8 trad., arr. Toumani Diabaté; tracks 1, 3, 5 composed by Toumani Diabaté; track composed by 9 Toumani Diabaté, Amadou Djite, Hussein Tounkara. Lyrics on track 1 by Soumaila Kanouté, track 4 by Mangala Camara, track 8 by Moussa Diabaté.

    Design by IWantDesign.co.uk
    Photography by Christina Jaspars

    Format availability

    This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79953

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
227
618
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 (All day)
0
0
Artist Name: 
Toumani Diabaté
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597995329BUN
Price: 
11.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597995367
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

In February, Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté received a Grammy for In the Heart of the Moon, his intimate collaboration with the late, great African guitarist Ali Farka Touré. That recording was part of a three-part series called The Hotel Mandé Sessions, which was recorded at Bamako, Mali’s Hotel Mandé by Nick Gold and his World Circuit team, including longtime engineering collaborator Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club). In July 2006, World Circuit / Nonesuch released another album from the series, the debut of Diabaté’s pan-African Symmetric Orchestra, Boulevard de l’Indépendance.  

A five-star review by London’s The Times said, “if there is any justice, the Malian master of the West African harp known as the kora should pick up another GRAMMY for his new record because there won’t be a better African album this year.” The Independent gave the album four stars and called it “a triumph.”

Over the last decade, Diabaté and his Symmetric Orchestra have performed almost every Friday night at Bamako’s Hogon club. They have become one of the most popular bands in the city’s vast music scene, celebrated across West Africa and beyond. Like the new album’s title—taken from the main road that bisects Bamako—the group’s name refers to a balance between tradition and progress: music preserved from the Mandé Empire that once connected West Africa and contemporary dance-music styles. The Symmetric Orchestra comprises players from Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali, and its instrumentation includes electric guitar, bass, and drums, as well as the more traditional kora, ngoni, and balafon.

Boulevard de l’Indépendance captures the Symmetric Orchestra’s singular sound, which in nine tracks spans everything from age-old Mandé standards to Cuban-Senegalese salsa. The album was recorded in two weeks of all-night sessions and features a string section, a horn section arranged by Pee Wee Ellis, and singers including the local hero Kasse Mady Diabaté.

Fifty-fourth in a hereditary line of master musicians and griots, Toumani Diabaté is simultaneously revered as the guardian of an ancient musical tradition and as a bold, boundary-crossing experimentalist. He has earned acclaim for inventive solo records as well as collaborations with Blur’s Damon Albarn, American bluesman Taj Mahal, and the flamenco group Ketama, among others.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

Malian kora virtuoso Toumani Diabaté hits the studio with the West African big band from his legendary weekly shows at Bamako’s Hogon Nightclub. “A record of mysterious beauty and grandeur, and funky as hell,” says The Observer (UK).

FormatRestrictions: 

This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Toumani Diabaté, kora karignan, musical director
Fanta Mady Koyaté, lead guitar
Alhassane Kanouté, rhythm guitar
Ousseïn Tounkara, bass, guitar (9)
Amadou Guitteye, acoustic guitar (9)
Mamadou “Santiago” Kouyaté, acoustic guitar (2)
Fodé Lassane Diabaté, balafon
Adama Tounkara, Bassékou Kouyaté, Ganda Tounkara, ngoni
Sekou Kanté, Etienne Mbappé, bass
Mamadou Fofana, keyboards, Peul flute
Alex Wilson, piano (5)
Fodé Kouyaté, Brice Wassy, drums
Yaya Faye, Souleymane Faye, Mamadou Tounkara, Mohamed Coulibaly, sabar
Mahamadou Kouyaté, Bandiougou Kouyaté, ntama
Dramane Coulibaly, djembe
Lamine Toukara, dundun, bell
Roberto Pla, timbales, MC (5)
Dlalekan Babalola, congas, triangle
Soumaila Kanouté, lead vocals (1), chorus vocals
Kasse Mady Diabaté, lead vocals (3, 7)
Mangala Camara, lead vocals (4)
Tiecoro Sissoko, lead vocal (7), chorus vocals
Moussa Diabaté, lead vocals (5, 8, 9), chorus vocals
Morissanda Kamissoko, lead vocals (6)
Mamdou Camara, spoken voice (9)
Mamadou Kouyaté, Ramama Sylla, Koumba Avian Tounuino, Fatim Sylla, chorus vocals
Pee Wee Ellis, Mike Smith, tenor & baritone sax, horn arrangements
Matt Holland, Chris Storr, Byron Wallen, Sid Gould, trumpet
Trevor Mires, Matt Colman, Fayyaz Virji, trombone
Simon Hale, string arrangements, conductor
Gavyn Wright, Perry Montague-Mason, Patrick Kiernan, Julian Leaper, Bruce White, violin
Dave Daniels, cello

PRODUCTION CREDITS
A World Circuit Production
Produced by Nick Gold
Recorded and mixed by Jerry Boys
Recorded at the Hotel Mandé, Bamako, Mali
Technical Support: Peter Martelli
Assistant Recording Engineer: Yves Wernert
Second Assistant Recording Engineer: Ibrahim Tankara
Assistant to Yves Wernert: Ibrahim Coulibaly
Additional recording at Studio Bogolan, Bamako, by Yves Wernert; and at Livingston Studios, London, by John Mallison
Mixed at Livingston Studios, London
Assistant Mix Engineers: Graham Dominy and Tom Bailey
Mastered by Tom Leader and Jerry Boys
Production Supervisor: Sara Daoud

Tracks 2, 4, 6-8 trad., arr. Toumani Diabaté; tracks 1, 3, 5 composed by Toumani Diabaté; track composed by 9 Toumani Diabaté, Amadou Djite, Hussein Tounkara. Lyrics on track 1 by Soumaila Kanouté, track 4 by Mangala Camara, track 8 by Moussa Diabaté.

Design by IWantDesign.co.uk
Photography by Christina Jaspars