Album: Rail Band, Belle Epoque Vol 3: Dioba (Sterns)

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The Independent Culture

The Rail Band began life as the buffet band at Bamako station, but it became the training ground for Mali's musical gods. And here they are in all their 1970s acoustic glory: Mory Kanté, Salif Keita and a host of other embryonic stars. Their roots were griot (celebrating the exploits of the 13th-century Malian king Sunjata), but they also drew on music from Latin America, Afro-beat, rock and pop. The result is a lovely double-CD, powered by guitar and trumpet, keyboards and balafon.

Pick of the Album: 'Maki', for vintage Sailf Keita