Englishman Sam Mills (guitar), Malian Toumani Diakate (kora), and Guinea-Bissau's Djanuno Dabo (percussion) comprised the original Tama trio that tracked the excellent Real World debut, Nostalgie.

Englishman Sam Mills (guitar), Malian Toumani Diakate (kora), and Guinea-Bissau's Djanuno Dabo (percussion) comprised the original Tama trio that tracked the excellent Real World debut, Nostalgie. With Espace, the trio became a quartet with the addition of Malian vocalist Mamani Keita. Her inclusion not only brings a captivating voice to Tama but also adds a fourth songwriter. One of her most striking vocal performances on the album comes on her original song "Bora." Dabo also makes his singing debut on Espace, and it's Dabo's voice we hear on the opening track, "Oka," a song with a catchy groove, enlivened by Regisse Gizao's accordion (Dabo wrote the song as well). While there are certainly Western influences at work in this music, the melodic, fluid, vibe of Tama's core sound—beautifully expressed on "Yalala" and "Credit"—is more contemporary West African than anything else. Racked by Narada.—PVV

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