Cocotte Minute – Mamani Keita and Nicolas Repac

April 23, 2010

Hybrid world music is definitely en vogue, but it is rare to hear it done well and with originality. Mamani Keita and Nicolas Repac’s Yelema definitely got things going on the right path when it was released several years ago. The singing is in Bambara, the grooves are Afro-Soul, the production is French, and the results are divine. The album was released by the tasteful label, No Format, where other inventive music can be found (including the new, wonderfully placid album by Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal, Chamber Music).

In French, a cocotte minute, like kleenex, is a brand that became a household name for a pressure cooker. This short, energetic tune, at 1:26 doesn’t allow for any noodling or waffling. No extra sauces or unnecessary sides here. An excellent hors d’oeuvre…

Cocotte Minute – Mamani Keita

The rest of the album features more filling dishes, some of which are a little overwrought for my tastes, but a good portion of which are exquisite. Mamani’s voice is beautifully unique. Here’s a track that is, while longer, definitely an excellent main course…

Mali Denou – Mamani Keita


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