Friday, December 24, 2010

MOSI CONDE - Kaira Kora Afrika

A sparkling debut from this London-based kora player and singer originally from Conakry in Guinea. Mosi Conde is nephew of Mory Kante and ol’ Diamond Fingers himself, Sekou Diabate, so certainly has a lot to live up to.

It’s the former that he most resembles, the tracks here being mostly brisk and melodic comprising Mosi’s bright kora, decent if not outstanding voice, bolon, excellent sparingly applied flute from Baba Galle Kante, and rhythmic decoration from calabash and djembe.

With eight shortish and sweet songs and under forty minutes long, it never wears thin. And despite its mostly sunny disposition it’s the spiritual closing track Tooba that really stands out, not least because Conde’s vocals are at their plaintive best.

It’s all very alluring, although the packaging could best be described as economical. It would be good to see this album picked up by an established distributor, buffed up and put on show at what will on the strength of this release surely be an increasing live presence. It’s the least this hugely encouraging first effort deserves.

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