music clip of the day


Category: ngoni

Wednesday, May 23rd

day two

Trio Da Kali (Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté, vocals; Mamadou Kouyaté, bass ngoni, vocals; Fodé Lassana Diabaté, balafon), live (studio), Seattle, 2017

“Eh Ya Ye”













reading table

the morning light is in us

—Peter Gizzi, from “Lullaby”

Tuesday, June 2nd

sounds of Mali

Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, “Siran Fen,” 2015



reading table

my rice field too
song by song
is planted

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827; translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)


The Beatles (Comiskey Park). The Who (Kinetic Playground). The Velvet Underground (Kinetic Playground). The MC5 (Lincoln Park). Bob Marley (Quiet Knight). The list goes on and on. My musical life is unimaginable without the experiences I’ve had with my brother Don, who turns 65 today. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, February 4th

sounds of Mali (day two)

Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet, “Diaraby,” live, University of Maryland, 2014

Tuesday, February 3rd

sounds of Mali (day one)

Africa Express, “Terry Riley’s in C Mali,” 2013-15


I am overwhelmed and delighted by this CD. I was not quite prepared for such an incredible journey, hearing the soul of Africa in joyous flight over those 53 patterns of ‘In C’. This ensemble feeds the piece with ancient threads of musical wisdom and humanity indicating to me that this work is a vessel ready to receive and be shaped by the spontaneous feelings and colours of the magician/musician. I could not ask for a greater gift for this daughter’s 50th birthday.

Terry Riley (1935-)

Saturday, 10/2/10

The other night I saw these two bands—both are from Africa—at Chicago’s Logan Square Auditorium.

Kenge, Kenge (Kenya), live, Denmark (Roskilde), 2008


Khaira Arby (Mali), live, Mali (Festival of the Desert), 2010





Scribblings from the show (habit picked up reviewing live jazz for the Chicago Reader):

Kenge Kenge’s bass player at the start of their set: “We’ve been in America for the last three months. This is our last show. And we want to have some fun.”

Drum is king.

As much as I appreciate the musical experiences available via thenet, they’re no substitute for live music. Among the casualties of the technological filtering are bass and drums—this music’s heartbeat.

This stage isn’t a dividing line. It’s porous, readily penetrable in both directions. Those onstage come down and dance; those offstage go up and dance. When everybody’s dancing—onstage, offstage—the performer/audience line dissolves.

African music, live, is a full-body experience: you listen not just with your ears but with your hips, your feet.

If folks aren’t dancing, this music ain’t happening.

Kinetic elegance.

At times the dancers look as if they’re in a trance.

Lightness, buoyancy, drive: this is music that takes you in its arms, lifts you up, carries you away.

Thursday, 9/9/10

Today we move north and west: the music of Mali.

Salif Keita, live, Spain (Cartagena), 7/10/10

Want more Malian music?

Amadou & Mariam

Oumou Sangare

Toumani Diabate

Ali Farka Toure

Bassekou Kouyate




An attentive reader/listener—someone I’ve listened to music with for over fifty years (which reduces the pool of possible correspondents to, uh, one)—wrote yesterday to tell me about an amazing bargain: a recording of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus (last mentioned here, previously featured here) that’s available, in MP3 format, for 89¢.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

more music from Mali

Bassekou Kouyate (ngoni) & Ngoni ba

“Ngoni fola” (2007)


Live, Mali (Timbuktu), 2010


Live, Germany (Rostock), 2007

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