Performer: Salif Keita
Engineer: Patrice Renson; Lucas Chauvière; Karim Sai; Stuart Bruce...
Producer: Patrice Renson...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel: Georges Yammine (alto); Anis Hawi, Antoine Khalife, Mona Smaan, Michel Kheirallah (violin); Angela Hounanian (cello). Audio Mixers: Patrice Renson; Phil Delife. Recording information: Beyrouth, Liban (02/2008); Ferber Studios, Paris (02/2008); La Frette (02/2008); Niger, Djoliba, Mali (02/2008); Patos Studio, Paris (02/2008); Studios Soyuz, Paris (02/2008); Beyrouth, Liban (03/2009); Ferber Studios, Paris (03/2009); La Frette (03/2009); Niger, Djoliba, Mali (03/2009); Patos Studio, Paris (03/2009); Studios Soyuz, Paris (03/2009); Beyrouth, Liban (06/2009-09/2009); Ferber Studios, Paris (06/2009-09/2009); La Frette (06/2009-09/2009); Niger, Djoliba, Mali (06/2009-09/2009); Patos Studio, Paris (06/2009-09/2009); Studios Soyuz, Paris (06/2009-09/2009). Photographers: Beno�t Peverelli; Richard Dumas. Arranger: Patrice Renson. Salif Keita turned 60 in 2009, which was also the year in which the veteran Malian singer recorded most of La Diff�rence (although parts of the album were recorded in 2008). At that age, Keita had nothing left to prove; he had long since established himself as a major figure in Mali's Afro-pop scene. But his desire to excel remained, and he is in fine form throughout La Diff�rence. In contrast to all the keyboards and synthesizers he used back in the 1980s, La Diff�rence has a largely acoustic outlook -- not exclusively acoustic, but largely acoustic. Although some electric instruments are used (including electric guitar and Hammond B-3 organ), acoustic instruments are more prominent. And all those acoustic instruments -- which range from horns to oud (an Arabic lute) to upright bass -- do a lot to give this 49-minute CD its earthy, rootsy character. La Diff�rence is not an album of traditional Malian music; this is modern Malian pop, with a strong Western influence and an obvious appreciation of American blues and R&B as well as French chanson (Mali, after all, is among the Francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa). But the influence of traditional Malian music is also quite strong, and that East/West blend yields memorable results on haunting tracks such as "Gaffou," "Ekolo d'Amour," "San Ka Na," and "Samiga." Malian music -- both traditional Malian music and contemporary Malian pop -- has long been known for its haunting quality, which this recording most certainly has. La Diff�rence falls shorts of essential, but even so, this excellent album paints a consistently appealing picture of Keita at 59 and 60. ~ Alex Henderson
Billboard (p.44) - "One of the most alluring aspects of Afro-pop singer Salif Keita's sublime new album, LA DIFFERENCE, is its intimate feel." Mojo (Publisher) (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Keita the soul singer is a wondrous thing."
Malian musician Salif Keita had an uphill battle on his way to become the country's most renowned singer/songwriter. A direct descendent of Mali's royal family, he was forbidden by custom to become a musician, but he boldly cast aside tradition. A vision-impaired albino, he also had to contend with his culture's superstitions about albino Africans. Nonetheless, in the '60s he began a career that moved through the pioneering Rail Band, through work with the jazz/funk-influenced Les Ambassadeurs, finally emerging as a formidable solo artist in the '80s. His pan-ethnic style incorporates R&B, rock, and jazz along with traditional Malian sounds, and his is a familiar name in the world music Grammy category.
Also Appears On:
Bagayogo, Issa Benkadi International Bocoum, Afel Boukman Eksperyans Coulibaly, Ye Lassina Damba, Mah Diabate, Toumani Doumbia, Nahawa Gabriel, Peter Jawara, Jali Musa Kante, Mory Keita Quartet, Seckou Koite, Habib Kouyate, Kandia Kuti, Femi Lema, Ray Les Ambassadeurs Lo, Ismael Maal, Baaba Mali Music Manfila, Kante N'Dour, Youssou Rochereau, Tabu Ley Rudd, Roswell Sangare, Oumou Sissoko, Ballake Sooliman E. Rogie Soumah, Momo Wandel Soumaoro, Idrissa Super Rail Band Tama Toure, Ali Farka Touré Kunda Traore, Lobi Traore, Rokia Wemba, Papa Ziskakan
Bembeya Jazz National Charles, Ray Dibango, Manu Franklin, Aretha Konte, Lamine Ensemble Machito Super Rail Band Turner, Tina Wonder, Stevie Zawinul, Joe
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