Fatoumata Diawara & Roberto Fonseca – At Home (Live In Marciac)

at home(Jazz Village JV 570080)

Some musical marriages sound like they were always written in the stars. The collaboration of the Malian actress/singer/guitarist and the Cuban pianist brings out the best in both of them, and they clearly shine even brighter in concert performance. That makes At Home (Live In Marciac) the best of all their worlds.

Although the musical setting is more acoustic and the range more limited to an Afr0-Cuban mix, there are echoes here of the kind of excitement the singer Sabine Kabongo and the keyboardist Joe Zawinul could generate in the Zawinul Syndicate. It’s that combination of impassioned singing over a technically brilliant band. It’s exhilarating.

This album enters on a high with Sowa, but then shows a quieter, more contemplative side with the 14-minute Connection – Fonseca’s marvellous piano fills are so characteristic of his rich harmonic sensibility – before the temperature is built with the ecstatic Yemaya – Diawara seeming to float above the rapid rhythm. Real Family gives Diawara a chance to be the actress with her spoken intro and vocal over Fonseca’s acoustic piano, Clandestin entices the mood back up, and Neboufo is a sinuous guitar-fuelled, clap-along Diawara composition with an anthemic quality.

World music superstars both, Fatoumata Diawara and Roberto Fonseca should pursue this partnership further. See what you think:

  • You can hear them in concert at The Barbican in London on Saturday. More details and tickets are here


Categories: CD review

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