Kaira by Toumani Diabaté
Released: Dec 1999
Label: Ryko/Rhino
Recorded in 1987 when Diabate was just 23 years old, Kaira was reputedly the first solo kora album available in the U.S., and, simply put, it stunned world music fans. Diabate's technique had the melodic richness and dexterity of a player twice his age; he underpins each song with rhythmic bass notes while skating over the top with hypnotic, intensely felt melodies.
Sarah Bardeen

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