Sira by Ablaye Cissoko
Released: Oct 2008
Label: Motema Music
And the genres blur once again. This time it's jazz and Mandinka music in one of 2008's more stirring and unusual collaborations. German trumpeter Volker Goetze teams up with Senegalese griot and kora master Ablaye Cissoko. Yeah, it seems like it shouldn't work -- but Goetze's way with the brashest of brass instruments has more in common with Chet Baker's subtle and almost vocalized playing than it does with, say, Satchmo. This frees Cissoko, whose hypnotically meditative runs on his instrument are grounded by his incomparable singing: emotive, aching, but restrained. Gorgeous.
Sarah Bardeen
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