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ALBUM 2007
Segu Blue
Boubakar Diallo
Genre : Album
Date de sortie : 02 Avril 2007


Segu Blue présente le joueur de ngoni Bassekou Kouyate.
Taj Mahal le décrit comme « un génie, la preuve vivante que le Blues vient de la région de Ségou ». Bassekou a collaboré avec de nombreux musiciens du Mali et d’ailleurs. Il a joué dans le Symmetric Trio de Toumani Diabaté avec Toumani (Kora) et Keletigui Diabaté (Balafon). Il faisait partie du projet Kulanjan enregistré avec Taj Mahal. Bassekou est également l’un des principaux musiciens de l’album posthume d’Ali Farka Touré, Savane sorti en juillet 2006. Récemment, il a tourné avec Ali Farka, laissant une impression remarquable en tant que joueur solo de ngoni.


Bassekou Kouyate is one of the true masters of the ngoni, an ancient traditional lute found throughout West Africa. The sensational album ‘Segu Blue’ which was released in Europe in the Spring of 2007 is his first solo album. Over the years Bassekou has collaborated with many musicians from his homeland Mali and internationally. Bassekou was one of the key musicians on Ali Farka Toure’s posthumous album ‘Savane’ which was released July 2006 having previously toured with Ali Farka Toure, stunning audiences worldwide as the band’s solo ngoni player. He has played in the Symmetric trio alongside Toumani Diabate (kora) and Keletigui Diabate (balafon), was also a part of Taj Mahal’s and Toumani Diabate’s ‘Kulanjan’ project and features prominently on Youssou N’Dour’s upcoming new album.
Bassekou was born in a village called Garana, almost 40 miles from Segu, in the remote countryside on the banks of the Niger River. He was raised in a traditional musical environment, his mother a praise singer and his father and brothers exceptional ngoni players. Bassekou moved to Bamako when he was 19 years old where he met the young Toumani Diabate. By the late 1980s Bassekou was part of Toumani’s trio and they recorded their first albums together, ‘Songhai’ and ‘Djelika’. Bassekou married the singer Ami Sacko (the so-called « Tina Turner of Mali ») and they have been in high demand for the traditional Sunday wedding parties that happen in the streets of Bamako. Bassekou has now put together his own band, Ngoni ba (meaning « the big ngoni »), Mali’s first ngoni quartet.
The ngoni is one of Africa’s secrets still to be discovered. It is the key instrument for the griot culture. Unlike the kora whose history goes back only a few hundred years, the ngoni has been the main instrument in griot storytelling going back to the 13th century during the days of Soundiata Keita, the founder of the Mali Empire. The repertoire Bassekou plays is Bambara music from the region of Segu. Bambara music is pentatonic in nature and as close to the blues as you can get in Africa. As Taj Mahal puts it « …Bassekou is a genius, a living proof that the blues comes from the region of Segu. » The songs on ‘Segu Blue’ tell the story of one of the last pre-colonial Malian empires: the Bambara empire of Segu founded by Bitòn Mamary Coulibaly in 1712. The CD’s 20-page booklet draws up a vivid picture of Malian social life before the colonial powers subdued the last local empires.
‘Segu Blue’ features guest musicians Kasse Mady Diabate, Lobi Traore, Lassana Diabate (incidentally, there is no Kora or djembe on this album) and singers Zoumana Tereta and Bassekou’s wife, Ami Sacko.