Baaba Maal, Nomad Soul

Chris Salewicz

By Chris Salewicz

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
One Senegalese’s bid for global unity and an end to bigotry.

Baaba Maal's music is imbued with both the timeless Fulani musical traditions of the tiny northern Senegalese villages in which he grew up and the cutting edge of contemporary western music, the work of an intellectual who studied his subject in Dakar and at the Conservatoire in Paris. It is music of high principles, the philosophy of an artist who is striving for global unity and an end to bigotry. Baaba's melancholy tone, elevating melodies and remarkable rhythms are only equaled by his extraordinary stage performances. Often Baaba works with the Senegalese guitar maestro Mansour Seck, who in turn has recorded with Ernest Ranglin, the former leader of Jamaica's Skatalites.