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From Mali to America

From Mali to America by Cheick Hamala Diabate
Released: Jun 2007
Label: 5-String Productdions
Albums tracing the genetic connections between American blues and Mali's griot music are hardly new at this point -- but novelty isn't what makes an album succeed. Many believe the ngoni to be the ancestor of the banjo; this album reunites the long-lost cousins. The results are pretty great: Diabate's ngoni performs a powerful pas de deux with historian Bob Carlin's clawhammer banjo playing; the relationship develops with the delicacy of a mating ritual. Highly recommended.
Sarah Bardeen