Banjo artist Jayme Stone’s recent travels to Africa have resulted in the riveting study of the instrument on his collaborations with Mansa Sissoko and the recording Africa to Appalachia. Stone found Sissoko, a griot singer and master of the kora (a 21 string harp), on his African travels, and the two make music on Africa to Appalachia that would make even Bela Fleck envious.
Consider "Dakar," an instrumental piece that moves along at a breezy pace to Stone’s intrinsic knowledge of guitar and banjo, full of improvisational bravado and peak jazz undercurrents. "June Apple" continues in this vein, pushing aside the boundaries that constrict regional and national musical thought, leaving the freedom to jam and glide along the waves of African and Appalachian rhythmic lines.
Produced by David Travers-Smith, Africa to Appalachia boasts critical contributions from artists ranging from fiddle player Casey Driessen and ngoni wonder Bassekou Kouyate to world renown vocalist Katenen ‘Cheka’ Dioubate on the haunting "Tunya." Africa to Appalachia is guaranteed to open more than a few minds in its travels across the globe to bring string music’s origins to the forefront in the appreciation of world music.
Africa to Appalachia is out now on Factor.