Sounds from the Sahel: Mali Song of the Week

Afel Bocoum – Alasidi

Again, Glastonbury Festival has done Mali proud. Or should we say Malian musicians have proven themselves once again as excellent by getting some high-profile spots on the world’s premier performing arts festival. Tinariwen finished up the Acoustic Tent on the Friday night and Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté had the Sunday lunch-time slot on the world famous Pyramid Stage.

This week’s song is from neither of these artists. Rather, it is a first appearance for Afel Bocoum. Agricultural advisor by profession, Bocoum rose to musical fame by being part of Ali Farka Touré’s group ASCO. Both men hail from Niafunké, a town on the Niger River, and are both members of the Songhai people, though this term is defined historically neither by ethnicity nor language.

Ali Farka Touré’s tutorship is obvious in this week’s song. Though in other works Afel does shows the ability to draft in  range of styles, in particular the rhythmic music of the North.

Afel Bocoum – Alasidi

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