|Best Of The Early Years|
|Description:||For the first time, this album charts Salif Keitaís early career, with this performances in the famed Mali groups, The Rail Band and Les Ambassadeurs
Born in Mali, West Africa in 1949, singer Salif Keita comes from a noble lineage, and is a descendant of Soundiata Keita, who founded the Mali Empire in 1240.
Keita grew up in the village of Djoliba, near to Maliís capital city, Bamako. The problems of growing up as an albino were aggravated for the young Keita, since the traditions of his lineage precluded nobility from becoming singers, which ordinarily were drawn from a lower social strata.
In 1970, at the age of 18, he left Djoliba for Bamako, where he spent time busking and playing in street gigs.
The first group which he worked with was the Rail Band, a state-sponsored entourage, An amazing incubator for some of the country's great singing talent, that have become an institution and a legend.
The first lineup centered around guitarist Djelimady Tounkara, who remained a constant throughout the band's tenure, and original singer Salif Keita.
The band worked in the Malian Manding tradition, with some touches of Congolese rumba, and became a smash, thanks to the mix of vocals and long workout instrumentals. Keita quickly became the centrepiece of the band with his high, wailing voice.
In 1973, Salif Keita left the Rail Band, and with guitarist Kante Manfila he joined the famed Les Ambassadeurs. The new group developed the fusion between traditional music and western, electric influences.
Now his reputation is spread far and wide.Known
around the world as "The Golden Voice of
Mali," Salif Keita's unique sound blends the
traditional styles of his West African homeland
with influences from Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and
the Middle East.