amadou sangare

Amadou Sangare dit Barry – l’Histoire de Moussa Tchefari Pere de Sabally

Have patience with this, I think it’s worth it. Without understanding a bit of Bambara (or whatever that is) I enjoy the phrasing and rhythm of his words of praise for Mr Tchefari. Look out for some incredibly sensitive (kamal?) ngoni playing, it sounds blues-y at times but I can’t do Sangare’s improvisational skills any justice here. The ngoni is said to be an ancestor of the banjo. Go figure. (link via rupture, but to be fair at least two professors told me something similar in college so this is like a real-life link/shout-out to the fine folks at Indiana University’s folklore and ethnomusicology department… yeah, i just linked to my university.)

More music like this here and here, as well as elsewhere on the blog. You probably get the point.


Side A
l’Histoire de Moussa Tchefari Pere de Sabally


Side B
l’Histoire de Moussa Tchefari Pere de Sabally


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

September 11, 2008 at 4:10 am

great sound from Mali. Malian songs are among the best in Africa

September 11, 2008 at 9:06 am

Many thanks for this and the other one. Although the ngoni doesn’t look much like a banjo, the high-pitched ngoni that we rarely hear on mainstream albums actually sounds pretty much like a banjo – specially the Senegambian variant called xalam. Akonting, another African lute, ressembles the banjo much more and the sound is almost identical.

September 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm

good ol storytelling from Farafina.
Besides painful drums, the xalam dude holds a nice tempo. Usually the one telling the story is the one playing the xalam, like my man solo cissokho does. Too bad I don’t have any device to degitize stuff and share with the world.
Keep these coming buddy!

Snoose Junctionreply
September 11, 2008 at 5:19 pm

These are… AWESOME!!

Just what I needed tonight, thank you!

September 12, 2008 at 10:48 am

that was me post before last, forget about what I said, the instrument is actually a Kora

September 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm

This is a bit thick of music!


September 12, 2008 at 11:42 pm

this is great
the pace is perfect for my work-exhausted state of mind

Neu Mejicanreply
September 13, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Best post in a while…and that is saying something.

September 15, 2008 at 8:40 am

This is a great tape. In the same style, one of my favourite is Pekos and Yoro Diallo self titled cd. A killer one!
Anyway, many thanks for this one.

September 16, 2008 at 5:00 pm

@anonymous 6:48 am:

Nope, it’s a kamalngoni, accompanied by a metal scraper – this style is typical of the Wassoulou region of southern Mali (Oumou Sangare is probably the best known musician from there). The kamalngoni looks like a cross between a ngoni and a kora (thin neck, 6 strings, round calabash resonator). It’s got a really distinctive funky sound – more bassy than a kora or an ngoni, and you get great sharp muted plucking.

September 17, 2008 at 5:21 am

I’ve been a fan of this blog for a while–and I live right across from the Folklore and Ethnomusicology building here in Bloomington.

September 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm

I did some research at the Folklore center at IU Bloomington a while ago – I only wished I could’ve copied some of the great recordings they have there… :)

September 19, 2008 at 9:32 am

Dear Thursday, here a compliment from Sunday, given to you from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean Amsterdam Netherlands). Your site really is awesome. And yes, i have downloaded some of your treasure.

Fans of African and other local music i would like to show where one can find lots of music that is recorded from the radio during trips to various parts of this planet. Click on Radio Mali or Radio Guinee Conacry for more awesome music.

Thank you for your blog

assalamu alaikum

September 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Amazing. I can’t believe how long i can listen to this. Thank you!

September 22, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Just listened to this recording; haven’t had time for the other. As far as I can hear it, this one contains no ngoni or kora, only kamal ngoni. Thanks again.

September 25, 2008 at 4:43 am

really enjoying this one….

always look forward to new posts….

Mike Janssenreply
November 10, 2008 at 10:38 pm

This is pretty sweet. I want to play this through speakers on top of a car and drive around my neighborhood.

There’s a good anecdote in Cecelia Connolly’s book “African Banjo Echoes in Appalachia” about an American clawhammer player who went to Africa and encountered a ngoni player. He took it from the man and started playing it as if he’d known how all his life, confounding the African man. So I guess the banjo and ngoni must be rather similar!

December 2, 2008 at 7:12 am

Hey this is really great, hypnotic stuff. Keep it up!

December 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm


I always enjoy your selection! Thanx!
This is a great tape!
The instrument is Kamalen Ngoni from the Wasulu region, it’s a quite new instrument, profane version of Donso Ngoni – hunters harp.

In terms of construction it’s a harp/lute with 6 or 8 or 10 strings arranged in two rows, like kora.

It has nothing to do with banjo. Okay maybe you could desriebe it as a far far faaaar relative as it’s also a kind of spike lute… although it’s being played like a harp.

The instruments that are consider banjo close relatives or even ancestors are akonting, xalam and regular ngoni like the one played here

anyway, keep up the good work!!!

warm regards from poland

January 2, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Totally amazing tracks. I did post both tracks on my own blog. Hope you don’t mind. Thank you.

Keep up with the great work ! ;)


February 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

four and a half years on, just to let you know there are still people out here discovering these great tapes you posted so long back! Keep em coming – most appreciated! Thank you

David Olsonreply
March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

I am looking for Pablo Lubadika records -revent en force, concentracion, ngai locataire, tyka ngai – I have ma coco and idee and the last one. I have never been able to find these after all these years, Idee and Ma Coco are possibly the best Congolese music I have run across ever. Let me know, thanks!

January 3, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Excelente música. Estoy muy agradecido

October 5, 2019 at 4:45 am

Niamey boy

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.