385

Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze: Sira

By

Sign in to view read count
Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze: Sira It is often said an image is worth a thousand words. Well, now that the concept of the album cover has been relegated to mere packets of metadata—at best experienced via the tiniest screen-mounted, portable music devices—it appears rather sad that fans will likely miss out on Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze's cover of Sira. Somewhat banal in its aesthetic, it does however cleverly encapsulate the record's adventurous proposition: two musicians of clearly different backgrounds standing shoulder to shoulder in a dry, Senegalese alley. In the foreground, a slim woman with a pure-white shawl that rests on her frail shoulders; only half her face and body is visible. Insignificant detail you might think. Au contraire! As master painter Lovis Corinth professed, "The truth is in the details, not the broad sweeps."

In Senegal, one of the twenty poorest countries in the world, half the population lives below the poverty line. Decolonization, and its ensuing disavowal/detachment from the daily tragedies still plaguing countless faceless natives, has left deep, scathing scars that the intellectual press has only recently begun addressing. In such circumstances, traditions become proudly guarded jewels passed between generations inside families, tribes and communities. The lot thus imposed on women, especially mothers, becomes inevitably, and excessively, strenuous.

A son of griot, singer and kora player Ablaye Cissoko rises above the hardships of his own to sing songs of hope and peace. In that typical softness, generosity and warmth that characterizes the African people, he appears indeed like a white dove amid an arid, desolate landscape. As such, portions of the proceeds generated by the sales of the recording go to TOSTAN, a community-led organization benefiting women's health and human rights.

A symbolic meeting of the North and the South, or of Muslim and Christian ordinances? A post- Apartheid effort of reconciliation? Listening to Sira, it is certainly tempting, not to mention still apropos, to revive such metaphors. As is the constant necessity to recall the unfortunate sufferings endured by those born without wings. For the time being, solace is to be found in the music.

In "Domain Domain" for example, the dancing rhythm and ornate melody renders well the above- mentioned, jovial spirit of the Mandingoes. As does "Gorgorlou," a traditional chant tantamount to Cissosko's mosaics of trills. Gliding in and out of the griot's plucked glints and plaintive declamations, Goetze's flugelhorn-sounding interfacing on the lulling vamp from "Manssani Cisse" closes the disc, leaving a state of tranquil serenity behind, even long after it stops spinning.

A breath of fresh air, Ablaye Cissoko and Volker Goetze's Sira provides an oasis of calm in which to pause and rest, to reflect and be moved...to tears.


Track Listing: Sira; Domain Domain; Lountang; Gorgorlou; Faro; Badingwoo; Bouba; Bamaya; Sakhadougou; Mansanni Cisse.

Personnel: Ablaya Cissoko: vocals, kora; Volker Goetze: trumpet.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ObliqSound | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "No White Shoes" CD/LP/Track Review No White Shoes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 28, 2016
Read "Dream Keeper" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Keeper
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "Apprentice" CD/LP/Track Review Apprentice
by Alex Franquelli
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "In For The Out" CD/LP/Track Review In For The Out
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!