sat 20/07/2019

WOMAD II: Baaba Maal | reviews, news & interviews

WOMAD II: Baaba Maal

WOMAD II: Baaba Maal

Stepping out of Youssou N'Dour's shadow, Senegal's other great vocal star

Baaba Maal: an immediately recognisable vocal style derived from sub-Saharan tradition Courtesy Palm Pictures

Ten o'clock at night and the WOMAD air felt as hot as Dakar preparing for Baaba Maal. Sadly, given this year's hugely expanded audience, it was hard to see the stage unless you know how to glide to the front like a snake (which years of festival practice have taught me). Though I still missed close views of the opening three songs and the singer’s acoustic guitar accompaniment, it was impossible not to hear his voice, even adjusted to unusually soft and mellow soulful tones rather than the familiarly sharp, declamatory style that pierces the heart.

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