Saturday, July 9, 2016

Manding My Own Business: Les Ambassadeurs and "Mandjougoulon"

A legendary group makes its appearance on today's random tune. Les Ambassadeurs was formed in 1970 in Mali at the suggestion of Mali's security chief. Their composer, guitarist Manfila Kante, attracted rising singer Salif Keita who defected from the hugely popular Rail Band. Les Ambassadeurs were pioneers who shaped Mali's musical landscape for decades by eschewing the "return to Africa roots" movement and allowing the traditional Manding music to be a platform from which they could experiment with modern musical styles. After revolutionizing Mali's musical scene, they moved to Parisin the late 1970s and became one of the most important bands in the burgeoning "world music" genre. They disbanded in 1985 because of creative and personal differences, but not after having a great deal to do with enhancing Mali's reputation as a musical powerhouse, and being one of the pioneers of African music on a world stage. You can find this song, Mandjougoulon, on their 2007 compilation Les Ambassadeurs feat. Salif Keita - Classic Titles.