The Gaurdian: Malian-Cuban Duo

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Friday May 08, 2015

From The Guardian

Fatoumata Diawara & Roberto Fonseca: At Home review ‘” no-frills live recording from Malian-Cuban duo
By: Robin Denselow

One of the triumphs of last summer’s Womad festival was the collaboration between the young Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca, the Cuban jazz pianist who worked with the Buena Vista Social Club. They are playing in London later this month, but first comes this no-frills live recording from a French festival. It starts with a rousing treatment of Diawara’s Sowa that would surely impress Stevie Wonder with its stomping jazz-funk riffs, full-tilt keyboard solos and cool vocals, but then the excitement begins to wane. Fonseca’s Connection is a 14-minute workout that shows his improvisational skills over a repeated riff, and no doubt sounded far better live than on record, while Real Family, which they co-wrote, is a half-spoken ballad that shows off Diawara’s confident voice. They should get together in the studio with a good producer and record an album that really does them justice.

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