Recorded in Accra, Ghana, in 1976, Kora Music from the Gambia is a collection of songs performed on the kora, a 21-string bridge harp used by the Mandinka people of northwestern Africa. Foday Musa Suso is a member of the hereditary jali social class, and, as ethnomusicologist Roderic Knight explains, that means he is both a historian and a musician: “For example, praises and genealogy were incorporated into songs, and oral history was told to the accompaniment of instrument music. ” Suso's selections on this album range from traditional stories from the Mali Empire ( “Tira Makan” ) to a contemporary song from the Gambia that refers to the 1960s moon landing missions ( “Apollo” ). Liner notes include a detailed description and history of kora music in the Gambia and track notes.
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