Salif Keita

This album may be the best meeting of African and Western sensibilities I can name. Keita, an albino from Mali who ignored his royal lineage and became a musician, possesses a soaring, passionate voice that strides over the loping Afro-beats and chant-like melodies. What makes Amen so distinctive, though, is the production work of Joe Zawinul, who established his credentials as a sonic wizard while he was the keyboardist/composer for Weather Report. He uses his synthesizer prowess to accent but never dominate the music, lending it a unique, urbane sophistication.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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