Fula Flute Finds Africa's Innovative Spirit

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/100771426/100770318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Fouta Canada"
  • Artist: Fula Flute
  • CD: Mansa America
  • Genre: World
Fula Flute 300

A consort of West African, American and Canadian musicians, Fula Flute delves into Mande and Fulani traditional music. Sylvain Leroux hide caption

toggle caption Sylvain Leroux

Fula Flute is a consort of West African, American and Canadian musicians who've been delving richly into Mande and Fulani traditional music and making it their own for the past eight years. The original song "Fouta Canada," created by Sylvain Leroux (who plays one of the Fula flutes) and Abdoulaye Diabaté (one of the most electrifying African singers currently living in the U.S.), marks a high point for the group's innovative spirit.

The groove may be African in nature, but it's not based on any particular tradition. Traditional flutes, xylophone and harp, rooted in a fat double bass line, create a cyclical musical foundation. Diabaté's august vocal and a searing, overblown flute solo from master flautist Bailo Bah provide considerable fireworks, but the most inspired touch here comes from the melodious brass-section work that opens the piece and rounds out Fula Flute's frenetic rhythms with simplicity and warmth.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Purchase Featured Music

Mansa America

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Mansa America
Fula Flute
Completely Nuts

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from