September 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Noura Mint Seymali – Tzenni

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Noura Mint Seymali

Tzenni

Glitterbeats Records

Street: 06.20

Noura Mint Seymali =
Traditional West African griot vocals + The Doors

Noura Mint Seymali is an extraordinarily talented vocalist from Mauritania, descended from a long line of well-known and celebrated griots. She carries on the tradition as a griot herself—a highly regarded individual who is a kind of historian and performer, a storyteller and keeper for the community. Her husband accompanies her in a less traditional way, playing electric guitar riffs that have enough psychedelic twang to remind me of sweet ’60s/’70s-era bands. Funky drumbeats continue to add a modern twist to Seymali’s traditional storytelling vocals. Personally, I’m fascinated by the cultural differences in traditional chords and songwriting. I was particularly intrigued by the material, and I definitely think this is a great album for anyone to listen to and perhaps expand their regular musical horizons. It’s quite a unique and enjoyable take on the traditional performance. –Ischa B.
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