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Various Artists: Every Song Has Its End

Music-makers from across Mali.

Various Artists: Every Song Has Its End album artwork

While the CD here provides a fine selection of recordings of Malian traditional music, it’s the DVD that is truly outstanding. It finds director Paul R Chandler letting musicians from across Mali – lead by former Ali Farka Touré sideman Afel Bocoum – speak for themselves then play their music.

Given time to explain their music, fears and struggles, it paints a vivid portrait of a thriving musical culture. If the griot tradition is lost, they note, then a cord that binds Malian culture will unravel. A beautifully shot, well-subtitled, intelligent film divided into chapters for each artist, Every Song Has Its End is essential watching for anyone interested in West African and/or deep blues music.