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Prayer (from “Suite Port​-​au​-​Prince​”​)

from Everybody Under the Sun: Voices of Solstice (The Singers) by Paul Winter Consort

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Abdoulaye was born in Kela, Mali, to a family of griot singers who date their lineage back to the founding of the Empire of Mali in the 13th Century. Griot means herald, or praise singer, whose songs of celebration, advice and narratives of history are a fundamental part of the oral culture. Abdoulaye learned to sing from his parents and grandparents, and to play guitar from his brother. He became a master musician and praise singer in the traditions known as jaliya. In 1992 he joined Ballet Koteba as a singer and guitarist, and went on to tour the world with the popular band Les Go de Koteba. Paul Winter learned of Abdoulaye from Sylvain Leroux, a French-Canadian musician who has spent much time in Guinea, and he put them in touch. This 2012 Winter Solstice Celebration also featured the reunion of Paul’s first band, The Paul Winter Sextet, on the 50th anniversary of their heyday. In the early ‘60s, they toured Latin America for the State Department and after their visit to Haiti, their pianist, Warren Bernhardt composed “Suite Port-au-Prince,” based on Haitian folk themes, in three movements. The first movement is called “Prayer,” and it felt appropriate to play this as accompaniment for Abdoulaye’s improvised song of praise


from Everybody Under the Sun: Voices of Solstice (The Singers), released December 6, 2019
Abdoulaye Diabate / voice

The Paul Winter Sextet:
Paul Winter / alto sax
Marvin Stamm / trumpet
Howard Johnson / baritone sax
Warren Bernhardt / piano
Cecil McBee / bass
Jamey Haddad / drums


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Paul Winter Litchfield

Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, whose sextet was the first jazz group to perform at the White House in 1962. His second group, the Paul Winter Consort, interweaves sounds from the natural world with classical and ethnic traditions, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. Their annual Winter Solstice Celebrations and Earth Mass are among the most popular events in New York. ... more

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