In Griot Time
by Banning Eyre
In 1995, Banning Eyre went to Bamako, the capital of Mali to study guitar playing with Djelimady Tounkara, a former star of the Super Rail Band. This title presents an account of Eyre's trip - an insider-view into African music. It reveals the triumphs and failures of the African music scene.
Paperback, 267 pages
Published February 14th 2002 by Serpent's Tail
(first published April 24th 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 49)
Unpretentious memoir of white American journalist/guitarist's 7-month stay in Mali. Author tells it straight, has deep regard for Malian music, but doesn't let that overwhelm the narrative. Still, book is a juicy meal for African music geeks, not the least because it's half a gossip rag on a griot family from the suburbs of Bamako. Turns out that's the way you want to read about Africa, as its literary reputation for otherness proceeds it and a metric shit-ton of books like this have the author'...more
It was only a couple of years ago that I got switched on to the music of Mali, via Ali Farka Toure in particular. When listening to it I always feel like I'm there; it just evokes such warmth and soul. This book manages exactly the same thing, drawing you into the world of Mali musicians and their culture. Naturally as someone who plays guitar I was fascinated by Eyre's descriptions of the Malian guitar style, as taught to him by his mentor and host (and Super Rail Band legend) Djelimady Tounkar...more