LOS ANGELES : WOMBLETON RECORDS
Jali Musa Jawra is from the Kankan region of Guinea in West Africa. The Jali (or “Djeli”) prefix on his name means “musician by birth”; both of his parents were jalis as well, you see. Traditionally speaking, Djelis were more or less wandering minstrels in this part of Africa. He is best known for playing the Kora, a 21-string bridge-harp, though he also mastered the balafon, basically a wooden xylophone from the idiophone family of tuned percussion instruments. He plays guitar and sings, too — but doesn’t everyone. Am I right Hollywood?
Moving to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast to play in Mory Kante’s band in the late 1970s put Jawara in a more progressive state of mind. When he split from Kante in ’83 he developed his own, hypnotic and exciting style of modern African Mandinka music. The album this tune was taken from, “Soubindoor”, was recorded in London in 1988 and was released on Island’s Mango imprint.
The song is about how suspicion and mistrust can ruin otherwise loving relationships. So to put it in your frame of reference, Wombleteens, this song is like West Africa’s answer to “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. I’d like to hear what Jawara could do with “Shadowplay” or “Disorder”, wouldn’t you!
AUDIO OF SOUBINDOOR (1988)
- From the selectors at Wombleton Records in Highland Park — all vinyl all the time for all the people.