The title of the cassette sells it; this is a recording of a recitation of the history of Segou accompanied by guitar and calabash. I have looked high and low for information on Tchiemokoni Diarra. I know nothing about him, other than the fact that he has released at least two cassettes. I assume that it is Tchiemokoni who narrates and sings this history of Segou. But I could be wrong, maybe he is the guitar player. Or perhaps he narrates and plays the guitar?
This is a beautiful recording that I have listened to dozens of times. There is a conviction to both the narration and the guitar phrasing that move me. I don't understand the narration in Bambara (?) but I am always pulled in by the evident and essential truth of Tchiemokoni's art. Like this cassette of Samba Oussou's, this recording is best enjoyed in its entirety. Tchiemokoni rides a cyclical groove for thirty minutes and, when it comes, the change in gears is glorious.
Download Tchiemokoni Diarra - La Guitare dans l'Histoire de Segou
I don't have the cover art for this cassette. My copy is a dub made by a Nouakchott cassette vendor. As always, if you can tell us anything more about Tchiemokoni Diarra or this recording, please share.
(Thanks to the photographer who took this beautiful picture of the Segou river. I couldn't resist the tourist shot.)