Toumani Diabate playing the kora is thrilling enough – with a bass, guitar and drums as well it’s just extraordinary. He played at the Leeds West Indian Centre twenty years ago and I got a free LP to play on my jazz show on the Chapeltown pirate (sorry ‘community’) radio. But I’d never seen him live. Catch a flavour here on YouTube In Leeds, he was accompanied by Fanta Mady Kouyate (guitar), Mohamed Koita (bass) and Fode Kouyate (drums). They rocked. Whoops, “rocks” is probably a USocentric concept – can someone give me an African word that conveys the mood?
They were supported by a band I’d never heard of before: The Revere. Scintillating musicians (violin, harp, cello, guitar, bass clarinet and a funny little toy piano thingy), singing exquisitely melancholic folk songs. Apparently we had the min-Revere – they can be larger and louder. Check them here ‘What am if I’m not even dust? What am I if I cannot be just?” sticks in my mind.
(Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds Grand Theatre, 5th November 2011)