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Salif Keita: Un Autre Blanc

The legendary Salif Keita mixes and melds a wide range of sounds on this collection of world music songs and messages. At times, the mix of his earthy voice and the traditional sway of the strings actually gives hints of The Gipsy Kings, as on the driving “Were Were” and even “Syrie.” West African drumming and pulses are felt on “Bah Paoulo” and traditional guitar and kora tones chime on “Tiranke.” The vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo brings spiritual harmonies to the Malian moods of “Ngamale” and guest Alpha Blondy brings his rich vocals to meld with a reggae’d beat on “Mansa Fo La.” Nigerian Afro pop vocalist Yemi Alade is rich on a lilting “Diawara Fa” and Keita keeps up with the times by enlisting French rapper MHD to join in with Benin songstress Angelique” for a rollicking “Itarafo.” A mix of tradition and up to the moment themes along with timeless messages.