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Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery

Helen 17 Feb 20 - 03:36 PM
Senoufou 18 Feb 20 - 11:57 AM
Helen 18 Feb 20 - 05:20 PM
Doug Chadwick 19 Feb 20 - 06:35 AM
gillymor 19 Feb 20 - 03:07 PM
Helen 19 Feb 20 - 06:25 PM
Jack Campin 19 Feb 20 - 08:35 PM
GUEST 20 Feb 20 - 04:21 AM
Helen 20 Feb 20 - 03:14 PM
Helen 03 Mar 20 - 12:15 AM
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Subject: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Helen
Date: 17 Feb 20 - 03:36 PM

Hi all,

Due to an earworm that I couldn't identify, I have made a discovery of an amazingly talented musician whose name I had never previously heard.

It was a bit of a crazy thing. I kept hearing snippets in my head of a song which I thought was "I Met Her By the River" and when I Googled it turned out to be a song by Richard Marx from 30 years ago called "I Left Her By the River". Never much of a fan of his but it's a catchy sort of tune, I guess.

Anyway, in trying to track down and catch that particular earworm I discovered a Gambian kora player called Dawda Jobarteh. I heard part of the song "I Met Her By the River" on YouTube and ordered his three CD's straight away. They then dawdled across the pond from the UK at a snail's pace - must have been sea snail mail - and finally arrived last week.

I Met Her By The River

He's brilliant. He began his musical career as a percussionist but has family connections to well known kora players. And he is a fusion musician too, so it's not just that sleepy laid-back harp music to meditate to.

Normally if I hear some new music I check it out fairly carefully before investing my hard-earned cash in buying the albums, but after hearing half of the first song I immediately ordered the three available CD's.

I have to admit I have only listened to about half of the tracks on the three CD's because so far I have been in open-mouthed awe at what this man and his musical partners can achieve. It's like when I am immersed in a really good novel and I want to know how it ends but I don't want to rush through the experience because I will never be able to recapture that again.

I have always loved African music and it's amazing rhythms and I appreciate the African musical influences in so much of our music. Sine qua non - without which nothing - is my opinion about jazz, blues, rock music, so many modern genres. Where would our music be without the African influences?

Please have a listen to the music of Dawda Jobarteh. You may not like it as much as I do, you may not like all of his different musical influences and styles, but you might just be able to open up a whole new musical experience that you have never imagined before.

Afro Blue


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Senoufou
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 11:57 AM

Lovely music Helen, and the video with it is magical.
I know parts of Gambia well, and have always loved kora music from many West African countries. My husband presented me with two small koras when we first met all those years ago!

Here are two more excellent kora musicians:-

Sidiki Djabate from Mali
and Mori Kanté from Guinea


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Helen
Date: 18 Feb 20 - 05:20 PM

One of the most memorable nights of my life was when I went to see the National Ballet of Senegal on 26 May 1974 in Newcastle Australia. I remember the performance because it was the most brilliant event I have ever seen. Amazing music and traditional dance. A wonderful night.

But I also remember that night for another reason. There was a huge storm, and when I was on the bus going down the main street to get to the theatre, we had just pulled out from a bus stop and there was a loud crash behind us. A large shop awning had fallen onto the street just a couple of yards behind the bus. If we had left the stop a few seconds later we would have been under a large pile of debris and would have had to be rescued. And I would have missed the most amazing show ever.

A ship called the Signa was wrecked near Newcastle that night, and the beaches near the top of the main street had lost most of their sand. It was a weird scene.

I was a student at the time so I would have had to scrimp and save for the ticket to that show but I knew it would be important to me to see it. The one continent in the world that I have always wanted to visit is Africa but being a boring git, I have never travelled overseas. (I wanted to see Australia first.)


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 06:35 AM

I gave your link a listening to and ..... each to their own, I suppose. For me, it didn't go anywhere. By half way through, I was expecting a voice to cut in saying "Your call is important to us".

I enjoyed the next track, "Hello", more than "Afro Blue" to which you linked. Perhaps if I heard more, it could be something that might grow on me.

DC


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: gillymor
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 03:07 PM

I've been listening to Jobarteh on Spotify the last few days, where he's represented with 4 albums and a few EP's, and am becoming convinced he's some kind of genius. Thanks for the heads up, Helen.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Helen
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 06:25 PM

Nature plus nurture, perhaps. A genius born into a family with a strong musical background.

I think if you don't like harp-related music, or African music, or jazz, or rock music, you might not find anything to like in Jobarteh's music, but if you like any of those genres then I think it will surprise you how many strands he weaves into different tracks.

My two harp music heroes are the Scottish duo called Sileas and the now deceased Irish member of The Chieftains, Derek Bell. In my opinion, Dawda Jobarteh is in the same league as these performers.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 20 - 08:35 PM

I was in Sydney for the same storm in 1974. I was in a central where the layout was rather like where I am now - lanes between the main streets. They all had high wood or iron fences, mostly blown flat. Beaches with sand all washed away and huge concrete blocks along the beachside road (the weight of a large car) hurled across the road. I think Manly Pier was wrecked and I never got to see Manly again.

Never saw any African music when I was there. It's never really connected with me in the way Eurasian music does.


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 04:21 AM

Just being pedantic, and probably one of the most off topic hijacks ever on Mudcat, but the wrecked ship was the Norwegian MV Sygna, not Signa, and named after the Old Norse for the river now called in modern Norwegian the Sřgneelva. And here's a song about it (the river, not the shipwreck)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dUuz6-L99Q&list=OLAK5uy_mi8Gi0yvDCeiEcHmSJhbBtO_5EB6N3dBo&index=2


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Helen
Date: 20 Feb 20 - 03:14 PM

Sorry for the previous typo.

MV Sygna ran aground at Stockton Beach May 1974

A bluesy tune with some close ups of the playing method:
Jeg Gik Mig Ud En Sommerdag


Dawda Jobarteh & Toumani Diabaté - Tabara


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Subject: RE: Review: Dawda Jobarteh - serendipitous discovery
From: Helen
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 12:15 AM

It's interesting watching Dawda Jobarteh and Toumani Diabaté play because they only play with two fingers on each hand while gripping the handles to hold onto the kora.

So much sound from only four fingers each!

I'm still amazed by this music and the genius of these musicians.


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