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AFRICA SEVEN

Sorry Bamba

Du Mali (1977)

    One of the most pivotal figures in the history of Malian music is Sorry Bamba. His work spans five decades and his music bridges the gap between Mali's cultural traditions and new the music which arose from the musical cross overs which occurred in Mali's post-Colonial period. Bamba was born in 1938 in Mopti. Bamba's father was a distinguished veteran of Emperor Samory Toure's military and a nobleman in Malian society; however, this meant young Sorry was forbidden to make music, as under the nation's caste system, music was an art form reserved for the Griots.

    At the age of 10, Sorry's parents died and in traumatic times that followed the young teen found solace in music, absorbing the rich tapestry of musc surrounding him; traditional Malian music, highlife from Ghana, local accordion master Toumani Toure and European singers and musicians.

    In 1960 Mali gained independence from France and Bamba and his group benefited from a new openness toward local music on the state-run radio network Radio Mali. Sorry then went on to form two award-winning, further collectives Bani Jazz and later the Kanaga Orchestra. They fused Latin jazz, Western R&B, Psychedelic and funk, and traditional Malian styles made them a favourite in Mali and beyond.

    In 1977 Sorry produced his second LP for the Paris based Sonafric group. Long out of press, the re-issue benefits from extensive restoration and re-mastering to a spectral analysis level, bringing and polishing long lost and distorted sounds.





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