Na Hawa Doumbia, 'La Grande Cantatrice 
Malienne Vol. 3' (Awesome Tapes from Africa)

La Grande Cantatrice 
Malienne Vol. 3
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Label: Awesome Tapes from Africa

by Mike Powell

Awesome Tapes From Africa is a hip blog with a semi-touristy name that belies its high quality. This -- from Mali, circa 1982 -- is its first release as a label. Guitars and keyboards argue about key; drums have a fridge-box vibe. Together, they play solemn and hypnotic -- proper accompaniment for a frontwoman who chatters like she's having a conversation with someone offstage. Like everything on ATFA, it's a suggestive footnote: If this got lost, what else?

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