November 24, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Poulo Warali | SLJ Music Review

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redstarPoulo Warali. Performed by Poulo Warali. CD. Approx. 34 min. Awesome Tapes from Africa. 2017. $13.

PreS-Gr 8 –This is singer Awa Poulo’s first internationally distributed record. On this, her most recent recording, the popular singer of Peulh origin from Dilly Commune, Mali, shows off her beautiful, lilting voice as she sings traditional Malian music and original songs written by either Poulo or her mentor, the celebrated Malian singer Inna Baba Coulibaly. All songs are performed in Poulo’s native language. The opening song (written by Coulibaly) is a “thank you” to her fans. Poulo then sings “Mido Yirima” (a love song dedicated to her husband), pays homage to Mali traders in “Djulau” and to blacksmiths in “Noumou Foli,” thanks fans for the cows given to her on her last tour and notes that nothing will go well when the Peulh aren’t present in “Poulo Warali,” and praises her people in the traditional song “Djara Wilam.” Poulo closes with “Sidy Modibo,” a song dedicated to the Muslim religious leader and grand Marabout of Dilly. The wonderfully hypnotic accompanying music is made up of a flute, n’goni (lute), calabash gourd (percussion), guitar, and a bass guitar. VERDICT A stellar introduction to music from this West African country for all ages.–Stephanie Bange, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal July 2017 issue.

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