Bela Fleck & Oumou Sangare – Djorolen [2008]

Caught this as the opener for this mornings “Morning Becomes Eclectic” from Jason Bentley on KCRW. I wasnt really paying all that much attention to the radio if I’m honest, I was just driving into work until the vocals on this track blew me away. Its a beautiful track, Oumou Sangare’s voice is faultless forcing Fleck’s banjo into second place. A beautiful song, very sensibly placed on Flecks new album. A track likely to get many more listeners in tune with both Bela Fleck as well as Oumou Sangare. I know i’ve become a fan.

The Lyrics are as so;
The worried songbird,
Cries out in the forest,
The worried songbird,
Her thoughts go far away,
The worried songbird,
cries out in the forest,
The worried songbird,
Her thoughts go far away,
For those of us who have no father,
Her thoughts go out to them.

From Amazon
Béla Fleck has spent most of his career moving the banjo into the future–i.e., away from what he calls “the white southern stereotype” and, with the help of his band the Flecktones, into genres not normally associated with the instrument–but with Throw Down Your Heart, he goes in the opposite direction, traveling to Africa to explore the banjo’s ancient roots.

Oumou Sangare is the voice of feminism in West Africa. In a region where polygamy is the norm, and women are often viewed as the property of their husbands, Sangare’s music has come to symbolize the struggle against gender imbalance. In addition to their social content, Sangare’s songs are full of the joy and spirit that the traditional rhythms of Mali have been communicating for generations. During the mid-1990s, Sangare has become one of Africa’s biggest pop stars, as well as a major force in the European and American world music scenes.

Read more: Oumou Sangare Biography


3 Responses

  1. I love that you posted this beautiful song. However, I certainly would not say that Bela Fleck was “forced into second place”. He ever so willingly gave himself to the supportive role to allow Oumou Sangare the space for her delicate power to shine. I don’t see any competition from either one of them. They are real musicians, serving the muse, Love.

    • Hey Kathleen! Thanks for dropping by and its always great to get comments. I think when I wrote this I was referring more to the final mix of the record rather than any artist jostling for a front row seat. But to be honest, I reckon your description is far more elegant than mine anyway! Cheers for stopping by!

  2. I am familiar with Sangare’s album version, but this version is outstanding and I can’t wait to share it. Thank you so much for posting.

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