Al Bilali Soudan
A traditional Tuareg ensemble led by Abellow Yattara, who comes from a family of musicians and has been a playing the tehardent since the age of 10. Comprised of relatives who have known each other for their whole lives this group represents a tour de force of improvisation and spirit from the Sahara Desert.
Al Bilali Soudan’s relaxed performance is an improvisational tour de force of traditionally based rhythms and scales. The group’s name is the ancient name of the city of Timbuktu.
Their style is the name of their traditional stringed instrument known as Tehardent in Tamasheq, Ngoni in Bambara, Kourbou in Sonhrai, and Tidinit in Arabic. A precursor of the modern banjo, Tehardent have accompanied griots, bards, dancers and vocalists for centuries. The percussion instruments on this recording are the Calabash, a hollowed half gourd.
The group’s leader, Abellow Yattara, hails from a well-known Tuareg family which has performed this music for generations. His father and uncle were master musicians and his grandfather was also known in the genre.
Made up of cousins and inlaws, the group has played together for years. Aboubacrine Yattara plays the bass tehardent, Mohamed Dicko and Abdoulaye Ag Mohamed play calabash. Their ease with one another is obvious in the verve of their relaxed performance. This recording represents contemporary masters of their instruments and their genre.
Genre: Tehardent, Takamba, Tuareg, World
Tags: Timbuktu, Tombouctou, Mali, Sahara Desert, Azawad, forgeron, Africa,