The commune of Niafunké, in the region of Timbuktu, is home to Ali Farka Touré, Afel Bocoum and is one of the world’s most sacred musical and cultural centers. Following in the footsteps of their elders, the band Alkibar Junior from Niafunké is heir to this zones hallowed musical tradition and Jamal, their first studio album, is destined to become a Malian classic.
Alkibar Jr. guitarist Diadié Bocoum is Afel Bocoum's youngest brother, and singer Sekou Touré has accompanied musical legends Vieux Farka Touré and Bocoum, and others throughout the globe. Niafunké is a cultural melting pot on the banks of the Timbuktu Riviera, and Jamal is Songhai, Peulh & Tamasheq rock/blues at its very best.
Jamal is an album of praise songs, dedicated to the brave individuals who have guided their Northern communities through the social, political, and economic crisis of the last few years. Many people were forced to migrate in 2012 after the Malian government collapsed and jihadist and separatist rebels took control of the regions of Kidal, Gao, and Timbuktu. The members of Alkibar Jr. remained in their community to cultivate their rice fields, grow their beards, and discreetly write songs and practice music in their bedrooms at night.
Co-Produced by Afel Bocoum and Paul Chandler, Jamal features; Mamadou Kelly, Hamma Sankaré, and Yoro Cisse from the original Ali Farka Toure band; Super Onze, the legendary takamba group from Gao; and Zoumana Tereta who has played Sokou (Sahelian Violin) on hundreds of albums including Segu Blue & I Speak Fula by Bassekou Kouyate. Leila Gobi and Ami Wassidje’s backing vocals are beautiful & haunting.
While the guest list is impressive and the musicianship impeccable, what really stands out is the uniqueness of Alkibar Junior’s core sound. The songs are genuine, energetic and fresh. Jamal is destined to become a Malian classic.
released December 5, 2016
Alkibar Jr. is Sekou Touré (singer), Diadie Bocoum (guitar), Oyé Yattara (percussion), Demba Traoré (singer), Amadou Daou (Singer), Kola Kané (drummer), Salah Guindo (Violin).
Jamal was produced by Afel Bocoum & Paul Chandler.
Jamal was recorded at Studio Mali Recordings by Konan Kouassi.
Mixed at The Compound Studio in Long Beach, California by Antoine Arvizu.
Album art by Deyo Glines at The American Art Kitchen, Long Beach CA.