News Updates 2013
I have been studying with Tata Dindin for 3 months. We look at the way tunes are constructed and the way that traditional tunes are arranged for a modern band that uses guitar and bass. We have also begun to write tunes that are a jahass, a mixture of West African and Western European.
None of this could have prepared me for the actuality that is touring. A life on the road with Tata Dindin and Salam Band. We made our second visit to Casamance last week. Kafountine is a “real town” with nightclubs and things like that. Tata has written a whole new album to coincide with his visit to Europe. He has also put together a new band that is simply one of the best that I have ever heard. This is the family at work. His brother Bai, a gifted percussionist in his own right, plays drums. Welcome Monsieur Le Batteur! His wife’s brother Bambo plays bass. As a bass player myself, I can say with absolute certainty that this wonderfully talented brother is “ Rock Steady.”
Moribar, Dawda, and Alhagie put the icing on a cake that will have you dancing all night!! And they certainly know how to dance in Casamance!!
Tata and his sister Siffai sing harmonies that even the birds would envy. A myriad of sound that lifts your heart and leaves you smiling that broad grin from ear to ear!! And that brings us to the man himself. A child like gentleness, a kind heart that knows no bounds and a sharpness and clarity of vision that is a rare combination in any human being. On top of all that, the lines that he plays on that beautiful Kora range from the subtle sound of tradition to the blistering onslaught of modern musical composition.
Having arrived in Kafountine, checked in at the lodge, and been swimming in the ocean, we headed back to town to look around. There, not 100 metres from the venue, was the nightclub Farafini. We explored with an excitement that would have been appropriate had we met the real Elvis Presley. A simple carved wooden statue of the first Toubab to sing African-American music in 1956. He danced so provocatively that he was blacked-out from the waist down on the Ed Sullivan TV show. Tata is, like Elvis Presley, an Aquarian. The African Elvis ? It is perhaps too early to make that claim. But I would urge all of you to check out this wonderful band. The gig began at 11 pm., and they were still cookin’ on gas at 4 am. This band explore the music with passion, great strength and deft touches that you will miss if you blink. And if it is to dance, well they really do know how to dance….in Casamance!!
Marks out of
Musicman ………… on the road with Tata Dindin
News Updates 2013