Friday, January 23, 2009
Rokia Traoré's Tchamantché has been nominated for the Victoires de la Musique award as Best World Music Album of the Year. The award, similar to the Grammys in the United States, recognizes the best in music from France. Rokia, the daughter of a Malian diplomat, has lived everywhere from North Africa to the Middle East to Europe, as well as in the Malian capital, Bamako, and now calls Paris home.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Christian Science Monitor has dubbed Rokia Traoré "Africa's answer to Joni Mitchell." In its staff picks for the week's best arts offerings, the Monitor declares that with Tchamantché, "her exquisite new album," Rokia has created "something timeless. But it's Traoré's voice that pulls one into the musical vortex. Though she sings in Bambara and French, you won't need a translator to discern the joy and ache in her voice."
Friday, January 16, 2009
Rokia Traoré is the subject of a feature on PRI's weekday news magazine The World, in which she discusses her new album, Tchamantché, particularly her decision to include the American Gretsch guitar, with its unmistakable signature sound, throughout the record. "I wanted something electric but sweet at the same time," she says. "Electric, but not aggressive in the same time. The day I tried it, the Gretsch guitar, I knew very quickly that that was the sound I was looking for."
Monday, January 12, 2009
NY Times: Rokia Traoré's "Tchamantché" Uses "Radically Delicate Fusions" to Move Tradition to "Contemplation and Intimacy"
Rokia Traoré's Tchamantché hits stores worldwide tomorrow after its European release late last year led to its inclusion in many critics' year-end best lists. The New York Times picks the album for this week's Critics' Choice, crediting Rokia for "creating her own radically delicate fusions" and calling the album her best, with music that "carries the plucked modal patterns of Malian tradition toward contemplation and intimacy." The Canadian Press calls it "a quiet, subdued album whose genius lies in each song's arrangement, the combination of modern and traditional elements and the intensity of Rokia Traoré's voice ... It's an album you'll want to maintain in a prominent place among your music collection." The Scripps Howard News Service gives it four stars and says the power of her music comes not from belting out but from "her persuasive use of subtlety ... the power of understatement."
Monday, January 5, 2009
Since the last Nonesuch Journal entry of 2008, which laid out scores of year-end best-of lists featuring Nonesuch albums and artists, still more critical praise has come in placing this music among the year's best.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
While 2008 may go down as one of the more turbulent years in recent (or distant) memory, or, more optimistically, a time of change, there is much to celebrate in the year in music. Nonesuch artists across all genres have contributed to that and, accordingly, have made their way onto many critics' lists of the year's best. For the final Nonesuch Journal article of the year, we offer an overview of just some of that year-end critical praise.
Monday, December 1, 2008
With Black Friday thankfully behind us and so-called Cyber Monday now upon us, the Schenectady Daily Gazette offers a number of "gift-worthy recordings" out this year, including six Nonesuch recordings: Isabel Bayrakdarian's "sublime" Gomidas Songs, Ry Cooder's I, Flathead, Emmylou Harris's All I Intended to Be, Randy Newman's Harps and Angels, Orchestra Baobab's Made in Dakar, and Rokia Traoré's "haunting and heart-lifting" Tchamantché.
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Monday, November 17, 2008
Rokia Traoré's latest Nonesuch album, Tchamantché is due to hit stores in the US come January. It was released earlier this year in the UK to rave reviews. The Independent calls it her best yet and recommends her set this Wednesday at London's Jazz Café as a "show you shouldn't miss." The album earned a perfect five stars from The Guardian, which called it "an intriguing, sophisticated and often intimate set that is quite unlike any of the other great music Mali has produced." The Times gives the album four stars, exclaiming that with it, "the breadth of her artistic vision has emerged fully formed in her music." The Sunday Times, The Financial Times, and The Evening Standard all give Tchamantché four stars as well, and The Daily Telegraph named it Pop CD of the week upon its release.