3

Awa Sangho: Ala Ta

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Awa Sangho: Ala Ta
The ancient West African culture that spans across the sands of the Sahara has created a rich and vibrant musical legacy which continues to yield stimulating artists. Vocalist Awa Sangho hails from Mali, was raised in musically rich Bamako, and began her singing and composing career in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast. There she honed her skill in a theatre troupe before forming her own group Les Go De Koteba, which released five records and toured internationally. With her release of Ala Ta, Sangho joins the ranks of strong African women which are making a positive impact on the world music scene while maintaining their ethnicity intact.

Sangho is a remarkable singer songwriter whose compositions are a personal journey of discovery, faith and appreciation. The title track which translates into the truth belongs to God, sets the tone for the record as one which is profoundly reflective presented with pure African rhythmic spendor. This strong religious belief is also present in "Danfin," acknowledging that we all have the power to create and radiate change. "Neba Nifa," dedicated to her parents, is one of several tracks revolving around the family structure as are "Denko," dealing with the education of African children, and "Nangaraba," instills cultivating positive images and confidence in young girls.

The record also displays the diversity which is prevalent in African music, as any given region has its own distinct musical nuances. Sangho travels to the forests of Guinea in "Emama," a tribute to her ex-husband and mentor. "Dofana," is done in honor of Ali Farka Toure, the legendary Malian musician who continues to cast a long shadow in Western Africa. The instrumental numbers of "Tambin y Tambor," and "Ndjarka y Tambor," feature her percussionist and producer Daniel Moreno, who did a commendable job in gathering the appropriate musicians to capture the spirit which the vocal styling of Sangho invokes.

The utilization of native instruments as ngoni, kora, balafon, dun-dun, and n'djarka, are essential in obtaining and maintaining the folkloric authenticity from which this music spawned. Ala Ta is Awa Sangho's first release, culminating from her recent relocation to America and backed by a supportive label as Motema. She offers a modern approach to her ancestral muse, and she is indicative of the encouraging performers coming out of the African motherland in a creative exodus.

Track Listing

Ala Ta Ye Tougnaye; Ne ba ni n’fa; Tambin y Tambor; Denko; Dan Fin; Nangaraba; Denmisenew; Bamouna; Emama; Dofana; N’djarka y Tambor; Somofolo; Naigai Koro Sigui.

Personnel

Awa Sangho: vocals; Mao Otayek: guitar, bass; Daniel Moreno: percussion; Sidiki Diabate: kora (13); Gordon Heldberger: kora (8); Charif Sumano: kora (4); Basekouu Kouyate: ngoni; Lasine Kouyate: balafon (2, 8, 9); Hervé Samb: guitar; Bari: talking flute; Zumana Tarretta: n’djarka; AIcha Camara: vocals (9); Habib “Dia Bolon” Sangare: bolon (1, 4), manding bass guitar (1); Tomas Gueye: djembe (9); Aja Salvatore: dun-dun (9); The Children of Bamako: vocals (7).

Album information

Title: Ala Ta | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Motema Music

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Jammin' With KC
Jammin' With KC
Sylwester Ostrowski
Read What Comes Next
What Comes Next
Peter Bernstein
Read A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
A Silent Play in the Shadow of Power
Bruno Parrinha/Abdul Moimême/Carlos Santos
Read Suite!
Suite!
Roberto Magris

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.