BBC – Music – Evaluation of Arnaldo Antunes, Edgard Scandurra & Toumani Diabaté

This relatively oddball Mali/Brazil collaborative album includes the follow-up to a efficiency by these three musicians on the Brazilian competition Back2Black in 2010.

Singer/poet Arnaldo Antunes is finest identified exterior Brazil for his function in one other three-way collaboration – the vastly profitable Tribalistas album he made with compatriots Marisa Monte and Carlinhos Brown in 2002. In that occasion, his droning however partaking voice was restricted to backing vocals. So it’s attention-grabbing to listen to him truly sing right here.

After all, the world’s most well-known kora participant, Toumani Diabaté, scarcely wants introducing. Conversely, São Paulo-based guitarist, composer and singer Edgard Scandurra is a main determine on the Brazilian music scene, however not so recognised past it.

Although not with no sure naïve appeal, A Curva da Cintura truly sounds extra like a piece in progress, or perhaps a scrapbook of musical concepts, relatively than a completed album, and suffers from a dearth of totally shaped songs.

Underwhelming opener Cê Não Vai Me Acompanhar plods alongside on a leaden four/four beat. With such a wealthy array of roots rhythms to select from, in each Malian and Brazilian music, this looks like a let-down. However a radically altered interpretation of Diabaté’s Kaira stands out.

The unique was the fantastically meditative title monitor of his 1988 solo debut, and likewise appeared as an instrumental on his 2005 collaboration with Ali Farka Touré, Within the Coronary heart of the Moon. This new model has a vocal from each Antunes and Safiatou Diabaté, the spouse of Toumani’s youthful brother, Sidiki. It additionally has some beautiful balafon by Fode Lassana Diabaté of the Afrocubism mission.

There’s an intriguing second in the direction of the top of the bluesy Ir, Mão, when the gritty-voiced griot Zoumana Tereta joins in together with his soku fiddle and a few eerie wailing. It’s only a disgrace there isn’t extra of this sort of chemistry obvious in lots of locations, or somewhat extra substantial songwriting.

Some redemption is discovered within the carnivalesque conclusion of Coração de Mãe and the light-hearted rock-out Meu Cabelo (‘My Hair’). However like many a “supergroup” earlier than them, this one doesn’t fairly meet the expectations that their mixed reputations create.

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