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  • Wednesday, February 4, 2009
    NPR: "Tchamantché," Rokia Traoré's "Best and Most Daring Work," Shows Utmost "Grace and Style"

    Rokia Traoré's recently released album Tchamantché is lauded as the Malian singer/songwriter's "best and most daring work" in a review for NPR's All Things Considered by world music critic Banning Eyre.

    Eyre, who recently chose Rokia's take on the Gershwin classic "The Man I Love" from Tchamantché as the NPR Song of the Day, focuses in this review on the record's opening track, "Dounia," which, he says, "tells the whole story" of the album. "Traoré always stood out as a West African female singer who also plays guitar. Here, she trades in her usual acoustic axe for a vintage Gretsch jazz guitar and matches its dark tones with a moody, whispering vocal melody."

    The reviewer describes Traoré's tone as "more delicate and mysterious" than the traditional praise singers of her home country, even where she and these griots share a common purpose in their words.

    "Traoré's meld of African and rock aesthetics is understated and as comfortable as it is cool," says Eyre. Pointing to "Dounia" once more as an example of this, he states: "It's the work of a mature artist who embraces the contradictions of her African ancestry and looks ahead with hope, but also a poet's wariness."

    Eyre concludes: "The world's less-developed societies have produced many singers who seek to balance musical style and cultural perspective, and to address the larger world. Few manage it with the grace and style of Rokia Traoré."

    Listen to the segment from All Things Considered at npr.org, where you can also listen to both "Dounia" and "The Man I Love."

    ---

    You can also now listen to Rokia's interview and live, in-studio performance on New York public radio station WNYC's Soundcheck from last Friday at wnyc.org. She is in the States from France for a ten-day US tour that begins tonight at Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. For a complete list of upcoming dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

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NPR: "Tchamantché," Rokia Traoré's "Best and Most Daring Work," Shows Utmost "Grace and Style"

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on February 4, 2009 - 12:06pm
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - 16:00
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Rokia Traoré's recently released album Tchamantché is lauded as the Malian singer/songwriter's "best and most daring work" in a review for NPR's All Things Considered by Banning Eyre. "Traoré's meld of African and rock aesthetics is understated and as comfortable as it is cool," says Eyre. "The world's less-developed societies have produced many singers who seek to balance musical style and cultural perspective, and to address the larger world. Few manage it with the grace and style of Rokia Traoré."

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Rokia Traoré's recently released album Tchamantché is lauded as the Malian singer/songwriter's "best and most daring work" in a review for NPR's All Things Considered by world music critic Banning Eyre.

Eyre, who recently chose Rokia's take on the Gershwin classic "The Man I Love" from Tchamantché as the NPR Song of the Day, focuses in this review on the record's opening track, "Dounia," which, he says, "tells the whole story" of the album. "Traoré always stood out as a West African female singer who also plays guitar. Here, she trades in her usual acoustic axe for a vintage Gretsch jazz guitar and matches its dark tones with a moody, whispering vocal melody."

The reviewer describes Traoré's tone as "more delicate and mysterious" than the traditional praise singers of her home country, even where she and these griots share a common purpose in their words.

"Traoré's meld of African and rock aesthetics is understated and as comfortable as it is cool," says Eyre. Pointing to "Dounia" once more as an example of this, he states: "It's the work of a mature artist who embraces the contradictions of her African ancestry and looks ahead with hope, but also a poet's wariness."

Eyre concludes: "The world's less-developed societies have produced many singers who seek to balance musical style and cultural perspective, and to address the larger world. Few manage it with the grace and style of Rokia Traoré."

Listen to the segment from All Things Considered at npr.org, where you can also listen to both "Dounia" and "The Man I Love."

---

You can also now listen to Rokia's interview and live, in-studio performance on New York public radio station WNYC's Soundcheck from last Friday at wnyc.org. She is in the States from France for a ten-day US tour that begins tonight at Stanford University's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. For a complete list of upcoming dates, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.

featuredimage: 
Rokia Traoré "Tchamantché" [cover]

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