Bridgewater, Dee Dee

Red Earth [Jazz]

RELEASE: 30.03.2007

LABEL: Emarcy Records

VERTRIEB: Universal



With a voice that sits comfortably among the last century’s greatest female jazz singers, Dee Dee Bridgewater has created a breathtaking and innovative new vision of jazz on her new album Red Earth. By retracing her Africa roots to Mali and combining the rich tradition of jazz with the equally rich African music traditions she has created a totally organic and emotional response in weaving these two cultures together.

Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals), Edsel Gomez (piano), Ira Coleman (bass), Minino Garay (drums), Baba Sissoko (tamani), Lansiné Kouyaté (balafon), Petit’ Adama Diarra (djembé), Lamine Tounkara (doum-doum), Cheick Tidiane Seck (shakeres), Djelimady Tounkara (solo guitar), Fantamady Kouyaté (guitar), Toumani Diabaté (solo kora), Habib ‘Dia’ Sangaré (bolon), Baba Sissoko (tamani), Alou Kouloubali (calebasse),Mamani Kèita (vocals), Baba Sissoko (vocals, n’goni, tamani), Zoumana Tereta (sokou), Cheick Tidiane Seck (karignan), Minino Garay (caxixi), Baba Sissoko, Kabiné Kouyaté, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Fatou, Fatoumata “Mama” Kouyaté (background vocals), Aly Wagué (flute peul), Ami Sacko (vocals), Bassékou Kouyaté (solo n’goni), Omar Kouyaté (n’goni medium),Moussa Bah (n’goni basse medium), Andra Kouyaté (n’goni basse), Gabriel Durand (guitar), Kabine Kouyaté (vocals), Edsel Gomez (piano), Cheick Tidiane Seck (Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ), Benogo Diakité (Kamalengoni), Zoumana Teret (sokou), Cheick Oumar “Sékou”(djembé), Yahkouba Sissokho (kora), ‘Petit’ Adama Diarra (djembé), Maré Sanogo (doum doum), Jacob Soubeiga (guitar), Bassékou Kouyaté (n’goni solo)

This union of a premier jazz diva and the wonderful traditional sounds from Mali was a project that had been forming in Bridgewater’s mind for many years. Having been elected in 1999 as one of the United Nations’ first Ambassadors for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bridgewater was granted a unique opportunity to travel to Africa, visiting villages involved with various FAO programs. Over the years, she amassed a library of music from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Congo, Benin, South Africa and Madagascar among many others. As she narrowed her focus, one country’s music came to the fore. “Whenever I heard it, I would get a jolt.” she recalls. “In the end of 2003, I started thinking it must be Mali. I had an inexplicable knowledge and ability to scat to and comprehend this rhythm and music.”

However, it was not until August 2004 that Bridgewater decided to make the long-awaited trip to Mali. It was during this first voyage that Dee Dee intensely felt she had found her ancestral home. Her instinctual connection to Malian “blues”, an inexplicable draw to the red earth - the ancient sign of life forces and land of her ancestors - and her amazing resemblance to the Malian tribe called ‘Peul’ all confirmed her suspicions, drawing her in with undeniable spiritual force.

Through many spontaneous jam sessions, in-the-moment improvisations the music formed in a completely natural and effortless way. The musical journey also naturally began to address the socio-political issues that are at the forefront of daily life in Mali and Africa in general. Thus she called upon outspoken women’s rights representatives and singers Oumou Sangaré, Ramata Diakité, rising star Mamani Kéita and Fatoumata "Mama" Kouyaté – all giving voice to the concerns and needs of Africa’s women. Dee Dee also tapped into the cultural lifeblood of the society by featuring many Malian Griot’s; traveling musicians and storytellers who keep the fascinating and hugely rich heritage of the culture alive through an aural history, passing it on down the generations. Among those featured are Kassé Mady Diabaté, up-and-coming talent Kabiné Kouyaté, and musical griots Bassékou Kouyaté, Toumani Diabaté and Baba Sissoko. While using the ancient Griot stories as a starting point, Bridgewater used her own musical heritage to add subtle nuances to these traditional sounds, particularly on ‘Children Go ‘Round’ where the music came pouring out at an intimate jam session at Bassékou Kouyaté’s house with two percussionists and Bridgewater’s youngest child, her son Gabriel Durand, sitting in on guitar.

Naming the album after the endless view of ‘red earth’ from her window in the morning, this is a raw, emotionally honest work that show’s both Bridgewater’s amazing depth of talent and versatility but also demonstrates once again that music is a truly universal language.

(Quelle: Emarcy Records)


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