I dedicate this album to my family, all the Sissokos in the world!
There is just one Sissoko family, wherever you are (Mali, Senegal, Gambia or Guinea), if your name is Sissoko, you are part of the same family, because we are all descendants of Fakoli!
Fakoli was a prince and one of the founders of the Mandinka Empire. He was a man of his word, who was very involved in the social scene. As a legacy, he passed down to us all of his energy and force. As his descendants, we all received a piece of him. My family received culture, tradition and music!
My grandparents who were also my best buddies, Djeli Djatourou Sissoko, Djeli Makan Sissoko, Djeli Baba Sissoko, had all lived with the energy and force of Fakoli, humanly, culturally and musically speaking.
I had the chance to know all of my grandparents and I learned a lot with them at the beginning of my childhood. I grew up with my father Djeli Madou Sissoko, a great Ngoni player; my mother Djeli Mah Damba Koroba, traditional singer; and with my uncle Mama Sissoko, a great Ngoni and guitar player, who completed my training and showed me the way to my mission. My family left me a baggage full of songs and I can live anywhere in the world with my musical experience.
In our family we start to play music with the Tama, and then we learn how to play the Ngoni. The Tama and Ngoni are all instruments of the Sissoko family and belonged to us even before the birth of the Mandinka Empire.
For me, this album is a journey, a souvenir…it’s life! This album comes from my heart and I recorded it with all the love and respect that I have for my family because I learned from them that the most beautiful things are the simplest ones.
This music and album are timeless.
released August 23, 2019
Baba Sissoko : composition, voice & ngonis
Michel Van Achter : recording, mixing & mastering
Denis Marechal : Photos
Elisa Pirondeau : Layout
Amazing to hear the one-of-a-kind Monkish harmonic approach to jazz so amazingly transposed to guitar. "Shuffle Boil" is a great example of Okazaki's use of the guitar as a very percussive instrument. bradyevanwalker
Ballaké Sissoko is my favorite kora player, and following his musical life has led me to some of my most beloved musical discoveries.
This latest release is every bit as gorgeous as all of his prior work.
And it is so clear how he brings the best out of each of his collaborators. Charlie Moonbeam