This description need not contain an easy-out reference to Malian singer/guitarist Ali Farka, you know. Koité’s unilaterally gorgeous guitar work may come from an axe tuned like the gourd-banjo n’goni to chase the sharp crystalline resonances of snapped open strings, but he plays with a rocker’s heart—and, it should be noted, Bamada. This all-star backing band uses layered percussion and growling basslines to turn otherwise spiderwebbed Afropop riffs into griot head-butts clearly several decades displaced from the fallen elder Farka. Oh, dang it.
Tue., March 16, 8 p.m., 2010