Malian music is arguably the most sophisticated form of African music. Mr Bongo, who have long been entranced by Malian culture, and, in particular, the immense hypnotic beauty of Malian music, have put together a selection of songs from across the country. On this album you will find well-known artists sitting next to rarer discoveries. The Rail Band, who are one of the best known of all the big bands in Mali, gave us the stars Mory Kanté and Salif Keita. Les Amabassedeurs du Motel de Bamako were another big act that had Idrissa Soumaoro, Kanté Manfila, and for a while Salif Keita in their ranks. Sometimes Salif would play in both bands in one night, quite a feat considering the bands were fierce rivals. Asan albino Salif has had to face considerable prejudice from society, focussing on his musical career to help overcome this. A major discovery on the album has been Idrissa Soumaoro et L'Eclipse de L'Ija. L'Eclipse de l'Institut des Jeunes Aveugles was a Blind teenagers institute and their record was produced by the German association that took care of blind Malian teenagers in Bamako. It was never properly released commercially and was the first recordings by the legends of Malian music Idrissa Soumaoro, Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia. Amadou & Mariam later got married and became household names. This album is a concerted global effort to showcase the most vital cornerstone of Malian culture in an attempt to preserve it's reputation in the face of it's current, grim reality. We hope our highlights of Mali's rich history of musical innovation will serve as a starting point for reclaiming an image tainted by unnecessary conflict. May peace and music return to Mali soon.