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Deviation Records

Super Biton De Ségou ‎– Afro-Jazz-Folk Collection Vol.1 2xLP

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This is one of the great Malian big bands of the 70s. Founded in 1966, they were four time winners of the biennial youth music competition with their electrified folk music performed by four guitarists and plenty brass (two trumpets, two saxes, flute), with trap drums, congas, and two vocalists. In 1970 they not only beat out the bands from the six other regions of Mali, their members also took top honors for best guitar, trumpet, composer, etc. Their home town Ségou was the capital of the Bambara empire in the 16th century. The Bambara beat swings harder than traditional Malinké music, with conga drums prominently driving the rhythm. After colonialism the young bands wanted to escape from the tangos, beguines and charlestons which their elders had been playing, though they had absorbed some smart ideas from Duke Ellington and other American arrangers. Band-leader is trumpeter Amadou Ba and he is assisted by saxophonist Abou Touré. In the 80s Zoumana Diarra was their drummer on a couple of great albums issued by Bolibana. Here they present a whole array of styles with some classic dreamy numbers that stretch out, in addition to the uptempo danceable tracks. "Bwabaro" is a repeat of that rocking number from "Afro Jazz du Mali" (Bolibana 40, 1986) while the closer "Garan" appeared on a 1977 Syllart album with a generic title (For some reason it's slower here than on the Syllart issue). All other tracks have previously only appeared on cassette in Mali.