Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Noura Mint Seymali, Tzenni

From Mauritania, Africa, comes one of the most wonderful things I've heard all year so far. It's singer Noura Mint Seymali and ensemble, with husband on very electric guitar and tidinit (stringed instrument), his name Jeiche Ould Chighaly, and a back-up rhythm section in a blues-rock mold. The album that's just out is Tzenni (Glitterbeat).

So what's so special? Noura sings in that ultra-melismatic truly African vocal style that you hear in Mauritania and elsewhere. She is a powerhouse and the complete, killer vocalist in every sense. Then underneath her is an equally killer African guitar style that is one part Hendrix-psychedelic, one part African melismatic blues. The African equivalent of bass player and drummer are right there. And they tune in a very African way, with some notes deliberately slightly sharp.

The result is some of the most moving bluesy rock you'll hear. It's African to the core and yet, as we all know (detractors excluded) African music is in part the mother lode of what developments have happened in America and beyond in the past 200 years, so this fits like a very hip glove.

The singing and guitar playing will knock you for a veritable loop! This smokes you and never lets up. Just find it and listen to it a minute even and you'll get it. Then grab a copy and keep quiet and hear what's going on if you might! You will be dam_ed glad you did, I hope! A teaser from You Tube should give you a feeling for what this IS:

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