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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Andra Kouyate & Seke Chi

Saro (Studio Mali)

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The bluesy syncopations of West Africa meet the Arabesque melodic twists of North Africa on Saro, an album by Mali's Andra Kouyate and friends. Aside from the traditions of their crossroads land, one hears a hint of rock chord changes and maybe an echo of Gipsy Kings flamenco. Coming from a long line of story-singing griots, Kouyate was immersed from birth in the music of his region, but he is determined to reach a wider audience. Language may be a barrier, but the funkiness of his own heritage and his willingness to incorporate reggae and other outside influences could help him find new audiences.