Amadou Balaké (1944-2014)
(Burkina Faso)

Djembe
Biography
Amadou Balaké's name may not ring bells right away, but he is (or should be) more famous than one would say in first instance. Born in Burkina Faso, or Haute Volta as it was called at the time, he played in Ghana before breaking through in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. In that city of musical crossroads he worked for years with producer Aboudou Lassissi who runned a successful label Sacodis in the late 1970s and early 1980s. For Sacodis, Amadou made several albums, recording songs in various styles, many of them with a strong latin tinge in the Charanga tradition. But he also recorded songs with heavy Malian influence, warba music from his home country, highlife or afro-beat. Later albums he recorded with Lassissi in America.

Amadou Balaké (sometimes also written as Ballaké) was asked to act as guest singer for Africando's 2000 album « Betece » (also released as « Mandali »), on which he sang the song « Betece ». He became later a full member of Africando and participates in their tours. With Africando, he recorded the song « Abibou » for the 2003 album « Martina » by Africando.

International exposure of Amadou's solo work was increased when his old hit « Taximen » was featured on the much acclaimed compilation Golden Afrique Vol.1. Soon after, a reissue of the album « Taximen » came out, thus showing the talent and the warm voice of Balake to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, Amadou started suffering from diabetes, and this illness finally lead to his death in 2014.


Amadou Balaké
Amadou Balaké 

Musicians on the "In Conclusion" album:
Amadou Balaké vocals
Michel "Haute Tension" Diansoro guitar
Boubacar "Papa&uot; Djiga ngoni, percussion
Sanou Dara balafon, percussion
Luc Kyendrebeogo bass, bass ngoni
Jean "Bosco" Sorogo drums
Yizih saxophone
Father Ben organ
Sanou Dara, Moustapha Maïga, Aïda Dao backing vocals


Born: 8 March 1944, as Amadou Traoré, in Ouahigouya (Yatenga province), † 27 August 2014
Style: afro-latin / charanga / highlife / afro-funk / mandingo


Discography
Title Year Label Remarks
In Conclusion 2015 Stern's Africa STCD1125
Bar Konon Mousso Bar 2014 Kindred Spirits KSRE 018LP LP, re-issue of Vol. 2 on Record Store Day
Senor Eclectico 2008 Oriki Music ORK005 Full title: Burkinabe dance music of the 70's
Taximen 2005 pam adc 308 Full title: dans son nouveau style Taximen et autres son
Natoma 2003 Seydoni Burkina
Amadou Balaké à Paris (Djala Songon) 1987 Sacodis LS 86 LP
Afro-Charanga 1982 Zamidou 1582 LP
Amadou Balaké à New York 1979 Sacodis LS 22 LP
Amadou Balake vol. 3 1979 Sacodis LS 11-79 LP
Vol.2: Bar Konon Mousso Bar 1978 Sacodis LS 8-78 LP
Taximen 1978 Sacodis LS 7-78 Full title: dans son nouveau style Taximen et autres son
Traoré Amadou et ses Dieux 1976 Club Voltaique du Disque CVD 008 LP

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadou_Balaké [external link]
bolingo.org [external link]


Page added December 2005