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Africa - Released December 29, 2012 | No Format!

Booklet Distinctions Sélection FIP - Coup de coeur de l'Académie Charles Cros - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
3 stars out of 5 -- "Sissoko seems content with the way the world is on this....Perfectly pitched for summer." © TiVo
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Africa - Released April 9, 2021 | No Format!

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This album is a splendid bouquet of strings (Djourou in bambara) composed by Ballaké Sissoko. The kora of this Malian master (Demba Kunda) welcomes and joins with the kora of the Gambian Sona Jobarteh, who also offers her silky voice on the title track. The other instruments that dance with the African harp are the virtuoso cello of his accomplice Vincent Segal, accompanied by Patrick Messina's clarinet, for an improvisation around Hector Berlioz's Jeu sur la symphonie fantastique. Prestigious vocal chords also join the party. The choice of guests is eclectic and tasteful. His compatriot Salif Keita sings like a nightingale on Guelen. Oxmo Puccino pays tribute to his Mandingo roots with his poetic flow on Frotter les mains. Camille brings her magical fever to Kora. Piers Faccini infuses his tender melancholy on Kadidja, which he performs brilliantly in Bambara. The set is completed by a second solo by Ballaké, Mandé Tabolo, situated between the duet with Camille and the other with Oxmo. It all concludes with an unexpected meeting with the Parisians of Feu! Chatterton (Un vêtement pour la lune). The luxurious cast underlines above all the inventiveness and boundless inspiration of Ballaké Sissoko, this immense musician. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
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Africa - Released October 12, 2009 | No Format!

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Upon seeing the title Chamber Music, some people might assume that this 55-minute CD contains European classical music performed by a chamber group. But Chamber Music is actually an album of traditional African music, albeit traditional African music with Euro-classical overtones at times. The main participants are Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko and French cellist Vincent Segal, who form an acoustic duo. On some selections, they are joined by additional participants; for example, Malian-born singer Awa Sangho joins them on "Regret -- A Kader Barry." But for the most part, Chamber Music (which was recorded in 2009 in a studio in Bamako, Mali) is an album of instrumental duets -- and those duets have the moody, hypnotic approach that traditional Malian music (as opposed to modern Malian pop) is known for. Some purists might argue that if the classically trained Segal (an ex-member of the National Orchestra of France) is bringing Euro-classical overtones to some of the material, Chamber Music isn't really traditional African music. But this acoustic recording isn't quite African pop either, and Sissoko and Segal certainly keep things rootsy on Sissoko's compositions as well as Segal's. Earthiness is the rule on Sissoko offerings like "Halinkata Djoubé," "Wo Yé N'Gnougobine," "Mako Mady," and "Future" as well as the three songs that Segal contributes: "Oscarine," "Histoire de Molly," and "'Ma-Ma' FC." And Segal's Euro-classical overtones never really detract from that overall earthiness, although they do add to the intrigue factor. Besides, Segal's background isn't strictly in European classical music; he has also been exploring rock, trip-hop, and different types of world music, and he sounds perfectly comfortable playing alongside a traditional Malian kora player. Sissoko and Segal's collaboration yields consistently absorbing results on the excellent Chamber Music. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Africa - Released September 10, 2021 | No Format!

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Africa - Released September 4, 2015 | No Format!

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Six years after the album Chamber Music, which earned them a Victoire de la musique, one of the highest awards in French music, cellist Vincent Segal and kora player Ballaké Sissoko combine their favourite instruments once again to birth Musique de nuit. This is a delicate, soothing fusion of two musicians operating at the absolute peak of their powers. The French and Malian natives met up in Bamako; reuniting there to make fantastic world music from these two (seemingly) contradictory instruments. Improvisation remains at the heart of the album, and the two musicians never seem to encroach upon each other’s separate roles. They take turns to provide the lead on rhythm and melody, along the way taking in a wide variety of styles such as mbalax and Brazilian music. Yet, whatever realm they venture into together, the results are always enticing.
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Africa - Released January 1, 2004 | Indigo

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Africa - Released January 1, 2000 | Indigo

Ballaké Sissoko is one of the towering young musicians to emerge from Mali in the early 2000s. His playing of the harp-like kora won him many plaudits, in large part for his exquisite work with cousin Toumani Diabaté on New Ancient Strings and with Diabaté and Taj Mahal on the Kulanjan project. This debut solo album, however, truly shows the range of his abilities, and wondrous they are. Using a group, Mandé Tabolo, with very traditional instruments (balofon, n'goni, etc.), he lets his playing take off on flights of fancy, where technique is limited only by imagination -- and Sissoko's imagination seems to have very few limits. He brings in elements of jazz (which by its lineage sits perfectly well with West African music), but for the most part this is simply a very Malian wonder. His very young accompanists -- all under 30 -- have plenty of fire of their own, and a lot of say in individual ways, although it's the vocal contributions of Mama Draba that come across the hottest, passionate and burning. The bottom line, however, is that Sissoko is the leader, and the one offering real direction, whose lightning speed and rippling runs can make the listener hold his breath, and whose writing holds melodies of great beauty. Debuts this good are very thin on the ground. © Chris Nickson /TiVo
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Africa - Released November 4, 2020 | No Format!

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Africa - Released June 23, 2021 | No Format!

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Pop - Released July 12, 2021 | colorsxstudios

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