This CD is a wonderful collection of some of the greatest artists of West African music.
The album is described as an “ode to the Mali empire, which stretched from Mauritania to Ivory Coast in the 13th century”.
It exudes a great confidence and pride in African civilisation, which is refreshing and uplifting. As with much Malian and West African griot (troubadour) music, women are very strongly featured.
The album begins with the Guinean singers Sekouba “Bambino” Diabaté and Kerfala Kanté, alongside Mali’s Kandia Kouyaté.
The wonderful track Nassiran Madi has Bako Dagnon and on Kanimba there is powerful singing from Kassy Mady, matched by some driving guitar work.
John Pilger Film Festival
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London EC2Y
This retrospective of award?winning journalist and reporter John Pilger’s documentaries is well worth getting to.
It includes an extract from his new documentary The War On Democracy, showing on 14 September, after which Pilger will answer questions.
The powerful films being shown include Palestine Is Still The Issue, Vietnam: The Last Battle, Stealing A Nation and Year Zero: The Silent Death Of Cambodia.
These documentaries are also available on the new DVD John Pilger: Documentaries That Changed The World, which is out now for £29.99.
Charlotte Gainsbourg’s first album does not fully emerge from under the shadow her father, the legendary French artist Serge Gainsbourg - but this is no bad thing.
This is a great album, put together with the help and influence of Jarvis Cocker and the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon.