Go back to: >MUSIC | >ABOUT | >HOME


Smalltalk came about one night in Break House in Oxfordshire when Bravo met Kadialy Kouyate, the kora player, for the first time.

The musicians started to play together for friends and family present.

Kadialy had not encountered the steel pan before. Bravo, in order to achieve a more intimate sound played his pan, without a stand, on his lap.

'Smalltalk' - the title track, 'Remembering' and 'We Are The Same' were all born of that first night of improvisation together.

The album also has a number of tracks written individually by both Bravo and Kadialy.

Kadialy sings and plays both his versions of traditional songs, songs which often tell stories and his own original music.

Bravo has composed songs inspired by the old Kaiso storytelling tradition of the Caribbean.

Smalltalk has fused two traditions of Africa and the Caribbean, from the Griot and the Calypsonian, together with their traditional instruments, the Kora and the Steel Pan, in an innovative and contemporary way.

Bravo and Kadialy
Fimber Bravo with Old Calypsonians

boy in blue t-shirt

Smalltalk - about the songs:

1 - SMALL TALK Fimber Bravo and Kadialy Kouyate
Celebrating the first time that Bravo and Kadialy played together, the track reflects the marriage of steel pan and kora that underpins the whole album.

2 - JUGUYA (Wickedness) Kadialy Kouyate
A song derived from one of his grandmother's traditional tales about two sisters, Bambeh and Juju. Juguya is a cautionary story of jealousy, murder and retribution.

3 - OLD KAISO F. Bravo
Born from the Caribbean's earliest form of Calypso - Kaiso, the track uses an extempo style of composition, improvised on the spot that celebrates two great African players on the album, Atongo Zimba and Alfred Bannerman.

4 - DIALY YA Kadialy Kouyate
Kadialy's version of the popular traditional song 'Lamban'. He chooses to call his interpretation by the first words of the song because the letters are embedded in his name. The song is a celebration of the divine gift of music.

5 - REMEMBERING (Lamineba). Fimber Bravo and Kadialy Kouyate
Born of the first night of playing together, Remembering - is about reflecting on the past, on loss in our lives and how in the light of that we look towards the future.

6 - SEAGULLS Fimber Bravo
A cry against brutal barriers placed there by superpowers that keep us apart in a world that should be shared by us all.

7 - NA SILO (My Way) Fimber Bravo
A steel pan solo that shows the great versatility of the instrument.

8 - KILONDING (Orphan) Kadialy Kouyate
Shortly after giving birth to a son a mother is killed by the king Manfati because she is caught stealing the water that he monopolizes. Many years later the son goes from village to village searching for the king to take his revenge.

9 - MUSIC Fimber Bravo
Dedicated to essential contribution music makes to all our lives across the globe.

10 - WE ARE ALL THE SAME Kadialy Kouyate
Kadialy sings here in four languages - Bambara, Ouloff, French and English, words that urge us to avoid letting wealth and power blind us to our common lot and to reject divisive racism that seeks to keep us apart.

Go back to: >MUSIC | >ABOUT | >HOME