Malian wizard Bassekou Kouyate and his band Ngoni Ba hit rarified heights on their jamming new album, I Speak Fula.
Kouyate, along with his wife Amy Sacko, inject I Speak Fula with a spirit and energy that transcends time, country and language. "Jamana Be Diya" has Kouyate filling in the musical pauses with a deep, colorful tapestry of sound and a feverish picking style. "Musow" is infectious fun, a bona fide radio staple that sets feet to tapping while its insistent rhythms dance wildly inside the listener’s head.
Picking up where he left off on the spellbinding disc, Segu Blue, Kouyate has packed I Speak Fula with an arsenal of stars, including Toumani Diabate, vocalist Kasse Mady Diabate, fiddle player Zoumana Tereta and guitarist Vieux Farka Toure. Together, they combine to make songs like "Torin Torin" and "Tineni" swing, and with Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba their pan-Malian orchestral experience is a richly rewarding treat to relish in 2010.
I Speak Fula is out February 2 on Next Ambiance.