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Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Ségal

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The Old Church
1422 S.W. 11th Avenue

Oct. 24, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

When Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal released their first collaborative album, Chamber Music, they caught the music world by surprise. Everything about this duo and the elegantly soulful music they made together was unexpected: Sissoko being the Malian master of the traditional kora harp, and Ségal being the French cellist with the unlikely background in trip-hop. The album appeared on numerous best-of lists in both Europe (in 2009) and North America (in 2011). Now, these two sonic voyagers have returned with Musique de Nuit (“Night Music”) – an album that may be even more spellbinding than its predecessor. After years of touring together Sissoko and Ségal have created their own hybrid tradition, one that draws on the ancient well of West African troubadour songs, the rich heritage of Baroque music, and an elusive but somehow clearly modern sensibility.  And while you’d never mistake this for a jazz album, it does share a spiritual kinship with the great album of duets made by Duke Ellington with bassist Jimmy Blanton, in the sense that it captures two musicians keenly listening to each other, and responding with an almost telepathic connection to each change of timbre or rhythm. Perhaps the most magical thing about Musique de Nuit is that after years of touring, and performing together on hundreds of stages around the world, the album has the feeling of eavesdropping on a late-night jam session. And this time, the music world is ready for it.

…the interplay between this African harp and the cello was transcendent. It’s simply delightful and uplifting to witness.”  – NPR