World Class: Amadou & Mariam in New York

By Mad Dog
Published: Jun 09, 2009

I didn’t trust my own reaction, so I took friends with me to see Amadou & Mariam. From pretty much the start of the show, we were all equally stunned — nothing prepares you for a band this exciting. “Is there anything more beautiful than a gold Fender Telecaster against a purple dashiki?” one of my witnesses asked. Another said, “They should perform at the White House!” What’s the fuss about? A well-oiled machine of a groove band, with a lot of brainy, sophisticated stuff going on above the rhythm. Like in the beautiful Sabali, which Mariam sings. She stands still, regal as Callas, while her voice covers the spectrum over music reminiscent of Philip Glass. The blind duo from Mali and their band are touring with Coldplay; see dates here. Ok, so you missed greatness of the first order. Don’t miss the CD.