Sorry Bamba, Volume One 1970 – 1979

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 06.24.11 in Reviews

Volume One 1970 - 1979

Sorry Bamba
Best approached as a groove record

Malian bandleader-singer Sorry Bamba’s main instrument may be the trumpet, but the guitars are what stand out on this survey of his work from across the ’70s. Volume One isn’t anything like a complete overview of his work — he began his career in the late ’50s and was alive and well in Paris when Thrill Jockey issued the compilation. But while it serves history decently enough, Volume One is better approached as a groove record, not to mention a guitar one. Bamba’s reedy keen has an easy command that grounds the music while standing back from it a little: The focus is steadily on the languid, humid grooves, the sweet-and-sour horns (see especially “Gambari” and the absolutely unhurried 11.5-minute “Poory,” on which Bamba takes a gently frayed-edged solo), and especially the six-strings, which bubble and loop and slide as fetchingly as the rhythms.