Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba: I Speak Fula
Label: SUB POP
2010 release. Malian maestro Bassekou Kouyate is a virtuoso picker and visionary whose work blurs the lines between West African and American roots music. Bassekou's intrument, the ngoni, is a "spike lute" and an ancestor of the banjo. Kouyate leads his band Ngoni Ba, the first-ever group built around not one but four ngonis-all played by members of his family. I Speak Fula builds on the artist's previous album and guests several pan-Malian notables, Toumani Diabate, Kasse Mady Diabate, Zouamana Tereta and Vieux Farka Toure.