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  • Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    NPR Picks Track from Rokia Traoré's "Tchamantché" As Song of the Day

    Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, features nine tunes Traoré penned herself, plus her unique take on the Gershwin classic "The Man I Love," made famous by Billie Holiday. NPR has chosen the track as today's Song of the Day, with contributor Banning Eyre exclaiming that the Malian singer "sets a new standard" with her interpretation of the famous tune.

    "Channeling Billie Holiday without losing herself, Traoré delivers a deeply satisfying read, subtly infused with African-ness as a lute converses with her electric guitar throughout," says Eyre. "As the song swings to its climax, Traoré briefly shows off her impressive range of vocal colors, just enough to let listeners know what she can do, with all the cool of a jazz master and all the mystery of an African diva."

    Eyre credits Traoré with possessing a style rare among her compatriot performers, holding "a special place in contemporary African music," with her "cool, understated sensibility quite apart from the boisterousness of Mali's best-known singers." He suggests that, with the new album, "Traoré makes her strongest and most personal statement yet, leaving aside her acoustic guitar and picking up vintage electric axes, while paring her ensemble down to achieve cool, classy minimalism."

    Read more and listen to Rokia's take on "The Man I Love," from today's Song of the Day on npr.org.

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NPR Picks Track from Rokia Traoré's "Tchamantché" As Song of the Day

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on January 27, 2009 - 12:43pm
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - 16:00
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Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, features nine tunes Traoré penned herself, plus her unique take on Billie Holiday's "The Man I Love." NPR has chosen the track as today's Song of the Day, with Banning Eyre exclaiming that the Malian singer "sets a new standard" with her interpretation of the famous tune. "Traoré briefly shows off her impressive range of vocal colors, just enough to let listeners know what she can do, with all the cool of a jazz master and all the mystery of an African diva." On Tchamantché, says Eyre, "Traoré makes her strongest and most personal statement yet."

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Rokia Traoré's new album, Tchamantché, features nine tunes Traoré penned herself, plus her unique take on the Gershwin classic "The Man I Love," made famous by Billie Holiday. NPR has chosen the track as today's Song of the Day, with contributor Banning Eyre exclaiming that the Malian singer "sets a new standard" with her interpretation of the famous tune.

"Channeling Billie Holiday without losing herself, Traoré delivers a deeply satisfying read, subtly infused with African-ness as a lute converses with her electric guitar throughout," says Eyre. "As the song swings to its climax, Traoré briefly shows off her impressive range of vocal colors, just enough to let listeners know what she can do, with all the cool of a jazz master and all the mystery of an African diva."

Eyre credits Traoré with possessing a style rare among her compatriot performers, holding "a special place in contemporary African music," with her "cool, understated sensibility quite apart from the boisterousness of Mali's best-known singers." He suggests that, with the new album, "Traoré makes her strongest and most personal statement yet, leaving aside her acoustic guitar and picking up vintage electric axes, while paring her ensemble down to achieve cool, classy minimalism."

Read more and listen to Rokia's take on "The Man I Love," from today's Song of the Day on npr.org.

featuredimage: 
Rokia Traoré "Tchamantché" [cover]

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