By mah damba
Mah Damba is a jeli muso, a griot, the daughter of the late Jeli Baba Sissoko, acknowledged by his peers as the “chief of the Malian jelis” in the 1990s (he passed away in 2001), and the niece of Fanta Damba, the best-renowned female griot in 20th century Mali. Mah Damba carries on with the family tradition in this album dedicated to the memory of her recently-deceased husband, the remarkable ngoni and guitar player Mamaye Kouyaté, and for this recording she has gathered three of her children around her : Guimba Kouyaté, who was taught the guitar by his late father, and Sira and Woridio Tounkara, on background vocals, who have followed their mother’s teachings. Mah Damba has also summoned Makan Tounkara, a remarkable ngoni player who already took an active part in the recording of her first CD (The Voice of the Mande, 927492). The other musicians – Silima Sakoné on bass ngoni, Mamadou Diabaté on ngoni, Mado Sacko on the djembe drum and Yacouba Sissoko on guitar and the tama talking drum – have often played with her. Lastly, Mah has invited Jean-Jacques Avenel, a talented double-bassist well known to the jazz world and just as versed in Mande music, which he has been playing for many years, both on the double bass and the kora harp-lute.