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Fresh Kids of Bel-Air

Feb 24th 2017 @ (le) poisson rouge

New York, NY
I Was There
Friday, February 24th, 2017
11:45 PM
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
By

Richard Gehr

The stepdaughter of Mauritanian singing legend Dimi Mint Abba, whom she used to accompany at marriages and circumcision ceremonies, Noura Mint Seymali explores poetic Moorish themes with an impossible-to-ignore voice. Her quartet features a mesmerizing Sahel-style guitarist in Jeiche Ouid Chighaly, her husband, who weaves flanging waves of quarter tones around Seymali's ornamented griot wail, while bassist Ousmane Touré and drummer Matthew Tinari keep it all in the pocket. Chighaly's guitar is an electric take on the tidinit, a small hourglass-shaped, four-stringed lute played by men throughout West Africa. Seymali plays a nine-stringed, harplike ardine, which is similar to a kora, while singing updated versions of traditional songs: The title track of her second album, last year's Arbina, praises God while advising women to get screened for breast cancer.