Released on diallo records in 2008, the Denmark-based Moussa Diallo Quartet's Acoustic Groove follows the leader's long career on the Danish rock scene as a successful bassist as well as a series of solo releases. It marks Diallo's return to his Malian traditional musical roots in a fusion of this with Western music.
The quartet consists of Diallo on bass, balafon, percussion and lead vocals, his long term collaborator Danish guitarist Mikkel Nordsø on acoustic guitars, Dawda Jobarteh on kora and vocals, and Swedish-based Salieu Dibba on djembe, calabash, percussion and vocals. They prove themselves an formidable ensemble on Acoustic Groove, with particularly fine 'call-and-response' interplay between kora and guitar and solid, interesting bass lines.
The material consists entirely of Diallo originals, well-written, strong compositions that are deeply rooted in the West African/Malian tradition.
But what of the fusion aspect? Acoustic Groove represents one of the finest, most successful excursions into West African traditional/Western fusion yet and feels completely organic and unforced. Art without artifice. This is music that has a lot to say and does so succinctly and subtly, and with sincerity.
As a result, Acoustic Groove is a most delightful, highly enjoyable album full of irresistible grooves and great charm and beauty. The playing throughout is of the highest standard, as indeed are the pleasing vocals.
As a further bonus, this beautiful music comes packaged in an excellent digi-pack multi-fold gatefold, with short notes in English and French for each song. One more reason why a physical CD is so vastly preferable to mere digital downloads.
As consistent an album as one could wish for, Acoustic Groove is also highly compelling and more than that, it is thoroughly enchanting, even mesmerising. Thoughtful world music of the very highest calibre. This album is just gorgeous.
To the aficionado of true quality world music, the Moussa Diallo Quartet's Acoustic Groove is way past essential, an absolute must have that you'll simply have to beg, steal or borrow, or preferably buy!
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