Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Recording: Cheka Dioubate

Artist: Katenen "Cheka" Dioubate

Song: unknown*

Recorded at The Gladstone Hotel (Ballroom), October 25, 2015.

Katenen "Cheka" Dioubate - unknown

Katenen Dioubate — known on stage as Cheka — grew up in a family of Manding djeli, which is to say she has music in her veins. Locally based, she is known as the "snow griot", but still has strong ties to her Guinean roots. Mixing traditional and pop styles, she presented some songs from her recent Bimogo album. She was backed by a band of top-shelf players from the local African scene, including Quandoe Harrison and Kofi Ackah. The fact that as amazing a player as Donné Roberts was mostly just comping on rhythm guitar behind Pa Joe shows the depths of the talent here. At first, the band were a little restrained, tethered to the song's arrangements (Ackah was playing to a click track to stay in sync to a backing vocal track) but as the set went on, they came to life, animating the tunes with delicious embellishments (such as the little guitar fill you can hear at the start of the track here) and grooving out quite properly by the time they hit a couple highlife numbers. But Cheka was at the centre of it all, radiating star power and dispatching wisdom between songs.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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