For ten years now Cheikh Lo’s music has been one of the delights of West Africa, even if his last two albums have not hit the heights of his 1990′s debut, Ne La Thiass. Jamm represents a return to form for the Senegalese songster.
“Where is Toumani?” vocalist Soumaila Kanoute sings every Friday night in a small bar in Bamako called Hogon. “Toumani has arrived!” he announces as an unassuming man, carrying a four-foot high 21-stringed harp-lute known as a kora, takes centre stage. And every Friday night the expectant crowd erupts in song and dance to the African star’s latest project: Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra.
“I want to show how far I can push the improvisation, I aim for sheer technical brilliance.”
If some recent traditional albums give the listener a feeling of tranquility as if reaching an isolated but welcoming village as dusk settles, Lamp Fall by contrast is like arriving in a bustling city full of unique and chaotic possibilities