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 Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Windows" CD/LP/Track Review Windows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Inner Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Inner Circle
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!