Cheick Tidiane Seck – Kile Bora
The Mali Song of the Week as a feature is almost a year old. Its a testament to the depth of Mali’s musical excellence of Mali that there are musicians of such high calibre that have still yet to make an appearance here, despite all our efforts to keep introducing a different artist each week. Cheick Tidine Seck is one who has finally made his contribution, in light of the fact that he will be performing in London at the Barbican Centre on the 26th of July. Here he plays in a concert entitled ‘Les Ambassadeurs” – referring to the name of the 1970s super-group which also contained Salif Keita (the founder) and Amadou Bagayoko. Both of these Malian big-hitters will join Cheick on stage to form a trio of “pioneers” of modern African music.
Cheick is arguably the most progressive of the three pioneers, chalking up a reputation as a fantastic keyboardist, vocalist, arranger and composer and exploring jazz more thoroughly. He has worked with an outstanding array of artists in a glittering career; working with everyone from Carlos Santana through to Jimmy Cliff, with the obligatory jam with Damon Albarn on the album Rocket Juice & The Moon. This week’s track displays just a hint of the progressive rock and jazz elements he is capable of deploying. More importantly it fully shows off his talents on the keyboard and is a brilliant example of perfectly crafted contemporary African jazz.