Ballaké Sissoko from Mali is a well-known kora player. It is currently reminded with the new album “Djourou”, which is a musical dialogue between artists of different cultures and generations.
Ten fingers for twenty-one strings, and magic takes place, surely, calmly. Ballaké Sissoko enlaces us in his suave and crystalline sonority and his kora, magnified by his talent as a melodist and an improviser.
Ballaké Sissoko is the son of Djelimady Sissoko, a great master of the Manding Kora, a twenty-one-stringed harp whose crystalline sound has conquered the international public. Ballaké is one of the best Kora players of the new generation. He started learning the instrument at a very young age with his father.
Having played with the prestigious Ensemble Instrumental du Mali and accompanied many female Malian singers, he earned his reputation by performing solo, in a duo with Toumani Diabate, with Taj Mahal, and with a number of other musicians, since 2009 with Vincent Segal on the album “Chamber Music” and the new one “Musique de Nuit” both released on No-Format label.
Open to all adventures and encounters Ballaké is an over-talented instrumentalist who, drawing on tradition for inspiration, has forged his own personal style.
An inspired improviser and a subtle melodist, he is a marvellous accompanist and an excellent composer. Emotion, elegance, freshness and inventiveness make up some of the world’s best music.
“Djourou is the rope, the one that connects me to others,” said Ballaké Sissoko simply.
We could not express more clearly the title and the spirit of this new disc, where the music of the Malian unfolds in all its dimensions: intimate and universal, singular and plural, alone or in conversation with artists who are fell in love.
“Ballaké Sissoko is part of the history of Malian music, it is a powerful silence, it is sacred music” testifies the rapper Oxmo Puccino, invited to the new album of the man he considers an uncle, Ballaké Sissoko.
NMR (photo: press Ballaké Sissoko)