Fula Flute "Fula Flute" (Fula Flute Music, 2004)

This New York-based ensemble features the tambin, or Fulani flute of West Africa, played here quite strikingly by soloist Bailo Bah, who growls and vocalizes as he plays, producing an unnerving effect which recalls the defiant, playful saxophone work of jazzman Rashaan Roland Kirk (who also sang while he played) as well as the spectral, droning quality of African author Francis Bebey, on some of his sanza finger piano albums. The ensemble also features instruments such as the kora, balafon and berimbau, in a mix that is lively and immediate. This is one of those albums that will stop you in your tracks and force you to listen: it's an arresting sound, unlike anything else you're likely to have heard. Highly recommended!


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