The American label Smithsonian Folkways have released The Social Power Of Music, an impressive collection of odes, songs of struggle, prayers and celebrations from around the world: it marks an homage to the power of action through music, and through a community of mixed voices.
Everything Bassekou Kouyaté does celebrates Mother Earth. On the four strings of his n'goni, the ancestral lute of the griots (bards), the musician uses his new album Miri to write the dream of a reconciled Mali – dedicating the result to the late Kassé Mady Diabaté.
In Pakistan, a whole civilization is singing the songs of Ustad Saami, celebrating peace and diversity through God Is Not A Terrorist. Recorded at night on a rooftop in Karachi, this album, the first of its kind, is the product of a collaboration between Saami and the American producer Ian Brennan.
A worthy custodian of the treasures of Mandingo Africa, Souraka Koite, the Senegalese griot (bard), is the man in the spotlight on this new reissue of En Hollande by Awesome Tapes From Africa. It is a remarkable cassette – showcasing a unique 1984 solo kora recording that took place in a converted chicken coop.