Radio Africa
Music
Rare recordings from the vaults

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Orchestre National de Mauritanie    
circa 1969

1 - Saraba (Talla Amadou Diané, Wolof)
2 - Polel siery (Souleymane Koné, Fulfuldé)
3 - Oumletna (Mohamed O. Nigdhei, Hassaniya)
4 - Soyna mousso (Talla Amadou Diané, Soninké)
5 - Analé (Talla Amadou Diané, Fulfuldé
)

Click here and here for full videos of the
orchestra and here for compact disc releases
          In the 1960s and 1970s many African nations supported a national orchestra who were tasked with presenting repertoires of "modern" African music. Borrowing from indigenous music and transposing the melodies to western instrumentation, these groups were emblematic of the nation's aspirations to promote unity through a national culture while also demonstrating the possibilities of new African musical styles. The role of the orchestras was significant: they not only sang of the government’s initiatives and policies, but were also the voice of the state in terms of fashion and culture.

In the late 1960s the Mauritanian government sent their newly formed national orchestra to Guinea, to be trained. Under Sékou Touré, Guinea had pioneered the transformation of indigenous music through the cultural policy of authenticité, which funded national annual arts competitions, the Syliphone recording label, and hundreds of orchestras, dance troupes, theatrical groups and traditional musical ensembles throughout the country. This song comes from the Orchestre National de Mauritanie’s first recording session, in Conakry. My research indicates that a second session of material was also recorded, but appears lost.

~~~~~

S. E. Rogie    
June 16 1966

1 - Miatta banya
2 - Nyaa
3 - Long live Tubman
4 - Nor look me leck datt
5 - Too many women
6 -
The secrets of Banja Tejan-sie
7 - People pikin
Here is the star of Sierra Leonean music, Sooliman Ernest Rogers, aka S. E. Rogie, recorded in Conakry in 1966. His deep country music influences are present on the very good compilation of his material "Palm wine guitar music: The 60s sounds", released by Cooking Vinyl, but are much plainer here, and somewhat starker.

In the 1960s many musicians toured Guinea. Sékou Touré's government was the poster child for pan-Africanism in the region, and USA jazz musicians, Ghanaian highlife bands, ensembles from Eastern bloc nations, and many others performed. Some were even recorded for Syliphone, the state-owned label, such as the African Khalam Orchestra, who hailed from Senegal.

~~~~~
Lalo Keba Dramé
No date  
  

1 - Jula jekeré
2 - no title
3 - Sunkariba
4 - no title
5 - Jimbasengo
6 - no title
7 - Satan madi ("Yasiminko")
Lalo Keba Dramé was born in 1926 near Kiang, approximately 50km west of Banjul, The Gambia. One of the greatest kora players, he performed at the first conference of Mande studies in 1972. These recordings were made in Conakry.

A short biography is located at http://chantshistoiremande.free.fr/Html/lalo_keba_drame_disco.php#top1 and http://www.au-senegal.com/memorial-lalo-keba-drame,9875.html?lang=fr.

~~~~~
l'Orchestre National "B" de la République du Mali    
circa 1970

1 - no title
2 - no title
3 - no title
4 - no title
5 - no title
In the 1960s and 1970s many African nations supported a national orchestra who were tasked with presenting repertoires of "modern" African music. Borrowing from indigenous music and transposing the melodies to western instrumentation, these groups were emblematic of the nation's aspirations to promote unity through a national culture while also demonstrating the possibilities of new African musical styles.

The Republic of Mali created a national orchestra the day after independence in 1960. The was l'Orchestre National "A" de la République du Mali, who were recorded by Radio Mali and released through Barenreïter-Musicaphon in 1970. On occasion, state sponsorship of national orchestras resulted in very large ensembles. Guinea's Syli Orchestre National, for example, were split into two orchestras, who became Keletigui et ses Tambourinis and Balla et ses Balladins. In Mali, a second national orchestra was created, and then a third. Hence, the orchestras were named formations A, B and C.

Presented here are very rare recordings by l'Orchestre National "B" de la République du Mali from the same era. The group would later morph into l'Orchestre National Badema. The personnel included Ades Traoré (chef d'orchestre), Kassemady Diabaté (vocals), Madou "Guitare" Sangaré (lead guitar), and Boubacar Diallo (rhythm guitar). Any further information would be much appreciated.


Further information is at http://www.radioafrica.com.au/Discographies/Mali_Orchs.html.
 
~~~~~

Soundioulou Cissokho

1 Soundioulou Cissokho & Sidikiba Sékou Diabaté - Lamban

2 Soundioulou Cissokho, Sidikiba Sékou Diabaté & Maïmouna Galissa Kouyaté - Alalaké
3 Soundioulou Cissokho & Maïmouna Galissa Kouyaté - Mariama (1967)
4 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (no date)

5 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (
no date)

6 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (
no date)

7 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (
no date)

8 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (
no date)

9 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - solo de kora (
no date)

10 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)

11 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)

12 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)


13 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)

14 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)

15 Soundioulou Cissokho & Batrou Sékou Kouyaté - No title (1986)

16 Soundioulou Cissokho - 1
17 Soundioulou Cissokho - 2

18 Soundioulou Cissokho - 3
19 Soundioulou Cissokho - 4
20 Soundioulou Cissokho - 5


Soundioulou Cissokho was born in Ziguinchor and attained the title of "The king of the kora". A master musician, he recorded several LPs including one for the N'Dardisc label. Further information on his life is available at http://chantshistoiremande.free.fr/Html/soundioulou_cissokho2.php/a.com and a biography has been published by Josée Lapeyrère: "Soundioulou Cissokho - King of the kora" (Allalaké - Dakar, 2000).

Track 3 has an interesting introduction by the Radio Guinée announcer and, along with track 2, represents a rare recording of Maïmouna Galissa Kouyaté, one of Soundioulou's wives. He was more widely recorded with another wife, Mahawa Kouyaté.

Tracks 16-20 appear to be from a different recording session from that of tracks 10-15, yet were on the same tape.
 
I don't have all of Soundioulou's recordings, so some tracks here may have been commercially released.




~~~~~~

Kani Sumano
August 2 1977

1 Soundiata
2 Lamban
3 Kaïra
4 Toutou diarra


              Kani Sumano - "la Grande Cantatrice de Gambie" - was a favourite of former Gambian president Dawda Jawara. Here she is accompanied by l'Ensemble Instrumental de la RV, which is most likely l'Ensemble Instrumental de la RTG, as it was recorded in Guinea. These represent her only known recordings with the exception of one track, "Kura", on Jali Nyama Suso's "Gambie. L'art de la kora", where she is accompanied by her husband, Abdulai Samba.

From left to right: Kani Sumano, Nyama Suso, Abdulai Samba. Photo courtesy of Roderic Knight (1970).