- Released: September 14, 2004
- Label: Riverboat
Uncut - p.1094 stars out of 5
- "Abstract melodies, funky poly-rhythms, a sense of spiritual determination - SABOU captures African soul music at its most inspired."
Spirituality & Health (pp.78-9) - "Kante makes Africa, stricken by poverty and disease, seem like a region of hope."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1064 stars out of 5
- "[C]harging along on complex, tumbling rhythms played on kora and balafon, with Kante's soaring voice jousting joyously with his backing singers."
- 10.Biriya (Rythmes du Mandingue)
Personnel: Mory Kant? (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bolon, cavaquinho, kora, panpipes, balafon, djembe); Mory Kant? (electric double bass); Gerard Poumaroux (bolon); Babagalle Kante (flute); Adama Cond? (balafon); Mohamed Alpha Camara (congas); Mohamed Bangoura (panpipes, djembe).
Audio Mixers: Paul Borg; Alain Gandit.
Liner Note Authors: Mory Kant?; Lucy Duran.
Recording information: Studio Melissa Music Montreuil.
Photographer: Youri Lenquette.
Unknown Contributor Role: Mory Kant?.
Arranger: Mory Kant?.
For many years, Mory Kant?'s beefed-up African music was the soundtrack of European dancefloors. This time around, however, the Guinean has gone back to his roots for an acoustic album that showcases his talents as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter. It's every bit the tour de force it should be, too, very powerfully rooted, bristling with good material, and with Kant? himself never sounding better, the griot voice curling around notes and lines in his distinctive wail. He's ably supported by others, most notably Adama Cond?, whose solos on the deep, xylophone-like balafon are a delight to the ear. But much of the credit lies with Kant? himself, who handles many of the instruments. Whether it's the relentless rhythm of "Mama" or the delicacy of "Nafiya," he's in complete control, letting the music frame his voice and leaving plenty of space for the songs to breathe. That he's a remarkable talent is already beyond question, given his resum?. But this stands head and shoulders above his previous work, some of which has seemed anonymous. Every note of this is personal and sounds that way, performed with joy, great love, and care. He addresses Africa's problems and potential solutions on the title cut, and the power of love in "Diananko," ideas that delve beyond most Western songs but fall well within the scope of a griot and a man concerned with his Mande past and future. With this record, Kant? has rejuvenated his career. ~ Chris Nickson