USA / Mali, 2003, Mande music / afro-jazz

Roswell Rudd & Toumani DiabatéMalicool

This is an American-Malian collaboration, and it sounds like it, too, what with the rendition of a Thelonious Monk composition as well as something out of Welsh tradition (of all places!). Things never get too complicated here, which is fine by me, making for a pleasant, relaxing listen in which I can enjoy the rich tones of an expressive trombone as well as the evocative sounds of traditional Mande instruments such as the kora (a 21-string harp), the balafon (a wooden xylophone), and the n’goni (a small lute). They seemingly disparate atmospheres of the instruments blend well together because they never demand too much of one another.

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