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2006 - 11 Mar - Maurice El Medioni & Daby Balde

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:13 pm
by NormanD
Seq Artist Track Album Country Label

1 - Ali Farka Toure - Tchigo Fo - Ali Farka Toure - Mali - World Circuit

2 - Sara Tavares - Balancê - Balancê - Portugal/Cape Verde - World Connection

3 - Samba Mapangala & Orchestre Virunga - Siku Ya Mwisho - Song & Dance - Kenya/Congo - Virunga

4 - Daby Balde - Mbeugel - Live in session - Senegal

5 - Maurice El Medioni meets Roberto Rodriguez - Oh! Ma Belle - Descarga Oriental - Algeria/USA - Piranha

6 - Ruben Gonzalez - Cumbanchero - Introducing Ruben Gonzalez - Cuba - World Circuit

7 * - Maurice El Medioni - Nahaouan & Nefrahouene Ghene - à l'Espace Julien, Marseilles - Algeria - unreleased

8 - Allen Toussaint - Tipitina & Me - Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album For The Gulf Coast Hurricane Victims - USA - Nonesuch

9 * - Maurice El Medioni - Ma Testahalchi - à l'Espace Julien, Marseilles - Algeria - unreleased

10 - Titi Robin - Amantito - Ces vagues que l'amour souleve - France - Naïve

11 - Howe Gelb - Paradise Here Abouts - 'Sno Angel Like You - USA - Thrill Jockey

12 - Daby Balde - Sora - Live in session - Senegal

13 - Gal Costa - Tuareg - Tropicalia - Brazil - SoulJazz

14 - Candi Staton - His Hands - His Hands - USA - Honest Jon's

15 - Ludovico Einaudi & Ballaké Sissoko - Laissez Moi en Paix - Diario Mali - Italy/Mali - Ponderosa

16 - Unathi - Sgubhu Sam - Tsotsi - South Africa - Milan

17 - Orchestre Marin Ioan (feat Adrian Simionescu) - Tutti Frutti - Gadjo Dilo (Soundtrack) - Romania - Princes / Warner Music

18 - Julia Vorontsova - Older - From St Petersburg with Love - Russia - Abaton

19 - Kazem (Kadim) Al Sahir - Minain Inta - Barefooted - Iraq - EMI Saudi Arabia

20 - Doreen Thobekile - Hambanami - London Zulu - South Africa/UK - Mule Satalite

21 - Maurice El Medioni - Je N'Aime Que Toi - Descarga Oriental - Algeria/USA 0 Piranha

2006 - March 11 - Maurice & Daby - bulletin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 1:13 pm
by Charlie
When Khaled was born in Oran, Algeria, in 1960, one of the city’s most famous musicians was the Jewish pianist Maurice El Medioni. Effortlessly alternating phrases in French and Arabic, while his hands conducted a separate dialogue between Rumba rhythms and Maghreb melodies, Maurice was equally at home in rich hotels and local clubs. As a song-writer, band-leader and accompanist, he was the man to have on your side.

After Algerian independence, as Cheb Khaled led the Rai music wave during the late 1970s and 80s, it seemed that the era for Maurice’s music might be over. Who hankered for music that evoked nostalgic memories of a tainted colonial past? But what else was Maurice going to do? If ever a man was born to play music, here he is. I’m sure that if you squeezed him, notes would pour from every pore, each one a delight. So he kept on playing for anyone who would pay to listen, until the day in 1996 when British producer Ben Mandelson and the German Piranha label stepped into his life to relaunch his career to a new audience with the album Café Oran.

Ten years later Maurice has another album, Descarga Oriental, this one recorded in New York with a group of Cuban-styled musicians led by percussionist Roberto Rodriguez. From the moment it begins, the album feels like a natural partner to Introducing Ruben Gonzales, recorded at the same sessions as the Buena Vista Social Club, which has brought so much pleasure since its release in 1997. Sure enough, when we discuss which records to play during tonight’s radio encounter, Maurice reaches for Ruben’s record first, saying he knew all about the Cuban pianist long before this album.

The piano is not a prominent instrument in world music, and certainly not a Steinway grand like the one Maurice played at the QEH the following evening. In the era before guitars were amplified, the piano was the loudest instrument in an ensemble, as important for its percussive power as for its melodies. Maurice still plays it that way, using his shoulders and arms as well as his fingers. His boundless yet coherent range of styles is endlessly satisfying, and the only disappointment on the night was that his accompanying trio was not only rather mundane, seeming to play the same rhythm on every song, but much too loud. We had come to hear the piano, not the darbouka.

If Maurice El Medioni confounds any stereotype of an Algerian musician, so Daby Balde doesn’t fit the mould of a successful Senegalese musician. A singer songwriter who comes from the South, Daby doesn’t play Mbalax dance music like Youssou N’Dour, has no track featuring a rapper and doesn’t sound even slightly like Thione Seck, Omar Pene or Cheikh Lô. His friends scoffed, they’ll never play your record on the radio, you don’t sound like anyone else. But that proved to be its strength.

Senegal is a curiously shaped country, from which Gambia has taken a bite out of its middle. The larger northern region on the edge of the Sahara is mostly parched and dry, but Casamance in the south is greener. Until now, no major singing star has come from Casamance, but Daby may prove to be the exception. Introducing Daby Balde, which won my vote as the best debut album of last year, is actually a combination of two albums that were widely played on Senegalese radio over the previous four years. I particularly like his use of violin, saxophone and accordion on the album, but tonight Daby proved that his melodies hold up with entirely different accompaniment, as UK-based electric guitarist Omar Sow and keyboard player Alioune provided the support for ‘Sora’ and ‘Mbeugel’.

Earlier in the week, we received the sad news that the Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré had died. It had been a well-kept secret for some months that Ali was suffering from cancer, but if the news was not a surprise, it was still difficult to come to terms with for all who knew him. Of the several West African musicians who achieved world-wide fame over the past twenty five years, Ali changed the least. Always confident of his own ability and worth, he did not consider it necessary to seek to adapt himself or his music in the hope of increasing his fame or wealth. He was a farmer first and last, and used some of his substantial record royalties to build an irrigation system not only for himself but for his neighbours in the village of Niafunké near Timbuktu.

It is the fate of world music artists to be asked questions about the meaning of their songs and the genesis of their styles that bear little relation to how the musicians actually approach their craft. Ali learned to deal with such questions with answers that were contradictory and inscrutable. His legacy is in his recordings rather than in his contributions to television documentaries and newspaper articles. Fortunately, World Circuit producer Nick Gold managed to make one more album with Ali before he died, which promises to be as good as his best.

This show had been billed as featuring a ping pong with Samba Mapangala, leader of Orchestra Virunga. Difficulties with work permits and visas meant that Samba could not leave Kenya soon enough to make the show, but he will be fulfilling the advertised dates on his tour. We hope to meet him sometime in the future. Many thanks to Daby Balde for stepping into the breach at short notice.

Re: 2006 - March 11 - Maurice & Daby - bulletin

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:40 pm
by Dominic
Charlie wrote:the only disappointment on the night was that his accompanying trio was not only rather mundane, seeming to play the same rhythm on every song, but much too loud. We had come to hear the piano, not the darbouka.
Hear hear.
Did opening the piano lid in the interval make a tiny difference? Chris Walsh suggested that replacing the electric bass and kit drummer with double bass and percussion player would have been a lot better (depends on the players of course). The audience was remarkably static, though, which can't be blamed entirely on the lacklustre band.
I love his singing as well, by the way.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:07 pm
by Chris W
Hands up - I did say that.

IMHO any electric bassist using a plectrum has no business being near the instrument. It gives a dull, lugubrious tone and can really drag a group down.... He only seemed to know only a couple of sequences to boot.
Drummer was a bit ham-fisted too - no groove.
I thought the darbouka was alright, just miked too much.

As I said - ideal for me would have been a stand-up bass and a mutli-percussionist to add some colour. (Possibly also a trumpet)

I know some people put it down to bad sound on stage, but I also thought Maurice fluffed several of those great chromatic piano flourishes. With tonality like that it only really works if you get some note definition.

Elsewise - a pretty good show, I did like the tracks where Maurice sang the most.

more superfluous percussion

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:52 pm
by Charlie
an email from James Birtwistle, Radio 3 producer and Saturday night listener:

Hi Charlie,

Slightly extraordinary experience listening to your show on Saturday...

I came in in one of Daby Balde songs which seemed to have voice, guitar and some strange quite loud percussion (like a dead drum with a faulty mic?) - trouble is that when you played a track off Maurice's album the same mad percussionist tried to play along occasionally.

Surely something wrong I thought.

Tried ringing BBC main switchboard who put me through to your production office voice mail, tried the number for BBC London, same result.

Kept thinking someone was going to notice in a minute and in the end gave up and stopped listening cos I couldn't bear this sporadic percussing...

This raises two issues:

1. It would be good if when someone rang the BBC wanting to be put through to your progamme if the BBC operators knew your phone in number while you are on air

2. Has anyone else reported hearing a phantom percussionist?I had a quick listen online and it isn't there - can't believe it was a local fault with my normally very trustworthy radio.

Is there some point in the chain after the point at which your programme is recorded for on line and before it goes to the transmitter at which this strangeness might have been added?

Maybe you can ask your technical chaps?

Thought you might like to know....


The only number I have is the production room number that we give out on air, 020 7224 2000

Did anyone else have a parallel experience to James on Saturday?


internet listening

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:53 pm
by Guest
The only problem for me was trying to get the telephone number to enter the quiz.

I'm afraid you were to quick in saying it so I did nt get it written down and my only thoughts were to send a pm message to zee and then I emailed ... I got a reply saying there were no prizes left... it's not the winning it's the taking part.

You did send me the number though for the next time!!

perhaps the tele number should be on the web.

As I said on an earlier thread, I thought the quality and content of the show was excellent and I had no problems listening 'live' on the internet



Re: internet listening

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:06 am
by Charlie
Anonymous wrote:The only problem for me was trying to get the telephone number to enter the quiz.

I'm afraid you were to quick in saying it so I did nt get it written down

Whenever anybody else does phone quizzes on the radio, they say the phone number so many times, I get dizzy, so I have made a practice of saying it only once.

So many people get through, it has never seemed a problem before.

Any further comments on this?

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:33 pm
by NormanD
As one of your switchboard regulars, it's worth saying that once the competition is announced and the BBC London number given out, the phones usually don't stop ringing. If the responses are slow (maybe a difficult question, loads of wrong answers, or a holiday weekend, etc) the question and number are usually repeated.

There are usually two people on the phones, and each phone has about ten incoming lines, which flash red to show a call is coming in. So, if you are phoning in, you either get an engaged tone or the waiting-to-be-answered tone; if the latter, you'll get to speak to us when we press one of the red buttons and give you a lovely, friendly, welcoming tone of a sunny voice, ready to take your correct answer. If you get a line in and are hanging on and not answered, it's because we're talking to another caller, so keep hanging on. Re-dialling doesn't make much difference; you may then find the number "engaged". I'm not sure if you get cut off if you're hanging on for a while; if so, then it's the automatic switchboard rather than us being funny.....

Which button do we press first? No pattern really; I start at the top left and work down, I don't think it matters.

We try to minimise the time we spend taking each call. If it's a correct competition answer we'll take contact details & choice of prize, and ring back later to confirm, take address, etc.

So, all in all, the phones may go barmy for about 20 minutes during a phone-in comp., then it's back to bagging up and posting off the CDs, answering questions and taking / passing on comments re. the show and, occasionally, placating someone who's got the needle about an inadequate sports item on the news or, occasionally, tactfully getting a drunk off the line.

I try to keep an eye on the incoming emails to see if anyone is replying that way, although, to be honest, the pressure from the phones means that answering them is given priority.


PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 1:17 pm
by Con Murphy
As a less regular phone-answerer, I'd like to add that the sainted Nikki is a real whizz at answering phones quickly. When it's the dream team of Akinjinmi and Druker in attendance, I should imagine that turnover of calls is pretty high.

I just wonder, though, if on the times the number is given out just once, there is a bias in favour of those who already know it by heart (or have it in their phone memories – a push of a button and you’re through). New entrants get just the one shot at noting it, and if it’s announced at the time the question is set, they are effectively still tying up their laces as the starting pistol goes off.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:34 pm
by ritchie

Has hit it right on the head. I very rarely listen 'live' and have never phoned in before so knowing the phone number has never occured to me.

I always thought of it as being a bit comforting, rather like listening to the shipping forcast, when you mentioned who was manning the phones. I always imagined them sitting there taking all the plaudits for the show saying things like 'thank you, glad you liked it, I'll pass the message on' and things like that. I never had any thoughts of entering 'the quiz' or going out on a ship in the North Sea either.

'' often have competions to win prizes but state that 'any one who put's their own subject into the subject field will be instanly disqualified' it's been like a red rag to a bull, needless to say I've never won anything.

I might keep sending my email answers in ;-)

'it's not the's the taking part'



PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:01 am
by taiyo no otosan
Well, I think you're all blimmin' lucky to even have a chance of winning a prize. Where I live, it's archive or nothing and I weep at the thought of all those wonderful things I could've won....still the sushi's pretty good!

email from Nola Marshall in Senegal

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:04 am
by Charlie
I was first introduced to the music fo Daby Balde by Nola Marshall, a British woman who works on projects in Senegal for about six months each year. Nola sent me a CD-R of some tracks from Daby's two Senegalese CDs, which I played on the radio. After getting very positive feedback from listeners, I copied the CD-R to World Music Network, who took the bait.

On Saturday whilst you interviewed Daby Balde in the studio in London I was having the most extraordinary experience (in Senegal).

I was in Podor, Baaba Maal's home town at the 'Blues of the River" Festival.

The latest Desert Festival which included visits to Holy sites, the delivery of blessings from holy men (Marabouts), is "Les Blues du Fleuve".

The Festival was a celebration of the Cultures which have historically collected together whilst using this ancient 1000 mile River Highway, stretching from Guinea through Mali and along the boarder between Senegal and Mauritania. The River Senegal is like a protective arm which holds Senegal. In such terrain the river has been the road, provided communication and the fertility of the land, giving life and food to an inhospitable terrain.

Baaba Maal's home town Podor and its people are the source of his rich cultural inspiration, all of which passed along this ancient route.

The programme content included the contemporary, traditional and cultural music of the region as well as a full cultural programme, including Arts, Rituals and Rights.

Guinea, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal were all represented.

During the weekend a delegation of French and Senegalese Cultural organisations performed the inauguration of the Fort in Podor.

The Podor Fort was original built by the British as a Slave holding post, and its cultural significance has until now not been recognized, funds are now being allocated for the conservation, restoration of this structure.

The entire population of villages and towns along the route turned out to watch as the 1950's steamer passed on route to the festival. This steamer had for decades passed along this route taking a one month trip from Mali to Cassamance. This had been a lifeline for family reunions, celebrations and anyone taking education in St Louis. People cried as they reminisced about weddings, births and funerals. The Steamer now promises to run regular trips from St Louis at the river mouth to Podor bringing a small trickle of adventurous travelers and tourists.

This Festival will become an annual event with each years and the Cultural significance of the River Senegal will grow.

Baaba Maal is a quiet sensitive man not the flamboyant character we see in his stage performance. He is thoughtful and educated and is the correct choice in his role as the UN-spokesman on Cultural, social issues as well as the spokesman for HIV/Aids in Africa.

This weekend Baaba Maal brought the cultural significance of his people to the limelight.

In Podor he is like a modern day Prophet, each village knows of his arrival before he arrives (because of the mobile phone) and young and old gather on the edge of the village to great him.

Chanting Baaba! Baaba! Baaba! the Griots on dancing horses with only their eyes showing through the desert clothing come to escort him into the villages. This is not staged, but is a true and genuine respect of a man who is promoting their culture and bringing possibilities and hope to communities.

Baaba Maal was the sole inspirer of this festival and his motives were to again share his cultural heritage with the wider public of the world, and the repay some of the debt he owes his culture.

Nola Marshall

Internet listening

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:19 pm
by Nikki
ritchie wrote:Con,

I always thought of it as being a bit comforting, rather like listening to the shipping forcast, when you mentioned who was manning the phones. I always imagined them sitting there taking all the plaudits for the show saying things like 'thank you, glad you liked it, I'll pass the message on' and things like that. I never had any thoughts of entering 'the quiz' or going out on a ship in the North Sea either.

I might keep sending my email answers in ;-)

'it's not the's the taking part'



Ritchie, please keep sending in your answers for competitions. We do check the emails to see if anyone has sent their answers in this way, and have on occasion awarded prizes to these entrants in addition to those who phone in. I am sorry that you did not win on this occasion.

Also, we do pass on any comments listeners make about the show, and other related matters to the Head Honcho, himself. Thank you for your kind comments.