Segu Blue by Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba.
Bassekou Kouyate is a modern master of the Ngoni, a ceremonial stringed instrument from Western Africa that’s a little like a banjo, with a drum over the resonating chamber, and a little like the Chinese Erhu, in that it can be bowed or plucked. He and his band, Ngoni ba, have attracted attention for doing crazy things like electrifying the Ngoni and playing blues & rock riffs on said electrified instruments.
Segu Blue was their first record, and produced by London based ethnomusicologist and radio presenter Lucy Durán.
The confluence of sympathetic European production values and African talent make it a compelling listen.
I could go on (and on) about the complex polyrhythmic web of interactions between the Ngoni and percussion. Or exclaim over the beautiful vocal harmonies, but really you should just listen to the album for yourself.
#BassekouKouyate #NgoniBa #segublue