The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
05th of February, 2014


I have some love for The Kora Jazz Trio, mainly because I ain’t never seen a Mandingo smack the piano with such profuse love for the game. But they prefer to identify themselves by the kora, and you sometimes do not understand why, as their music can often be suspiciously light on the kora. (I mean, in comparison with Ballaké Cissoko, for instance, who doesn’t call himself “Crazy Kora Soloist”.) But then a song like Dadiou happens. Taken off their second studio album, Part Two, it is an unbelievable work of improvisory kora jazz on a level that is scarcely imaginable. This kind of song marks a boundary on a genre, even a discipline. It’s that extreme in both beauty and daring. This kind of thing is why they are undeniably worthy of their name. This song is even better than Chan-chan; yes.