NPR SONG OF THE DAY
February 17. 2009
Song: "Fouta Canada"
Artist: Fula Flute
CD: Mansa America
Fula Flute Finds Africa's Innovative Spirit
By Banning Eyre
'Fouta Canada' by Fula Flute
Sylvain Leroux, a consort of West African, American and Canadian musicians, Fula Flute delves into Mande and Fulani traditional music.
NPR.org, February 17, 2009 - Fula Flute is a consort of West African, American and Canadian musicians who've been delving richly into Mande and Fulani traditional music and making it their own for the past eight years. The original song "Fouta Canada," created by Sylvain Leroux (who plays one of the Fula flutes) and Abdoulaye Diabaté (one of the most electrifying African singers currently living in the U.S.), marks a high point for the group's innovative spirit.
The groove may be African in nature, but it's not based on any particular tradition. Traditional flutes, xylophone and harp, rooted in a fat double bass line, create a cyclical musical foundation. Diabaté's august vocal and a searing, overblown flute solo from master flautist Bailo Bah provide considerable fireworks, but the most inspired touch here comes from the melodious brass-section work that opens the piece and rounds out Fula Flute's frenetic rhythms with simplicity and warmth.