Bass player, singer and composer Moussa Diallo is a veteran of Danish rock and fusion. Against his father’s will, Moussa began playing at a very young age in Mali. As an adolescent he then moved to Copenhagen to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician.
Parallel with his prominent presence on the Danish rock scene, Moussa Diallo has for the past ten years worked on his Mali projects. A musical journey back to his roots in the West African country of Mali, where this highly esteemed bass player grew up in the capital Bamako, with his Danish mother and his Malian father. Bamako is one of the world’s most inspiring cities with it’s multitude of musical impressions. Moussa Diallo has released eight CD’s on his own label.
Diallo’s music has a broad appeal, as it is easy to understand. Music that pleases the ear - fresh, bubbling and enticing.
On his arrival in Denmark the young bass player immediately captured the attention of the established Danish rock scene with his fierce, grooving and always convincing approach to his instrument. His first band in the mid-seventies was the fusion group Lunatics. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s Moussa Diallo set fire to prominent Danish rock/fusion bands like Sneakers, Skunk Funk, Savage Rose and many others. He was also the leading rhythmical force when famed singer Anne Linnet formed her revolutionary band Marquis de Sade in 1983. For the past ten years Moussa Diallo has been an indispensable member of renowned Danish singer/composer Hanne Boel’s group on stage as well as in the studio.
Visions and influence
Besides having been a prominent member of the said bands, Moussa Diallo generously shared his musical visions with other musicians, bass players in particular, helping them become skilled in basic rhythms and contrapuntal within the beat. During his early years as a musician Moussa Diallo played by sense and feel - written music was not his cup of tea. He still is not too comfortable with given forms and sheet music, but has a rare gift of being able to define the heart of the music and put his feel into it. Moussa Diallo’s playing is always recognizable, his lines fit the music like a glove and his powerful groove provides any format with raw energy and a complete understanding of the basic elements in the music.
Moussa Diallo has influenced many Danish bass players. He is an extremely respected and admired music personality of the Danish music scene, not only because of his achievements as a musician, but also because of the human warmth and gentleness that he projects.
Moussa Diallo has released a number of solo albums, all of them showing his diversified approach to music. Already in the albums "Diallo" (1992) and "Amora" (1997) you can clearly sense his African roots in the music. But you also hear influences from artists like James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Prince. But above all, you have the opportunity to listen to a great bass player laying down the grooves combining sincere feelings with sublime musicianship.
In 2001 Moussa made a documentary film about going back to his roots in Mali, together with filmmaker Robert Grant Larsen. The film is also a musical meeting between Moussa and Malian musicians like Toumani Diabaté, Habib Koite, Amadou & Mariam and many more. The film "Kinkéliba - A Musical Journey" has been shown on both Danish and French TV. An English version of the film is also available.
During recent years Moussa Diallo has concentrated more on performing and recording his own compositions with a stronger focus on the African sounds. He has brought together some of the very best West African artists currently living in Denmark with some of the country’s top musicians launching "The Kinkéliba Project". This diverse constellation musically reflects the cosmopolitan reality of today and challenges cultural traditions in music by creating a significant new sound.
The Kékéliba Project was released in 1999 and a live version was recorded at Copenhagen Jazzhouse (2001.
The aim of "The Kinkéliba Project" was to invite soloists from different cultural backgrounds, leading to an experience where musical communication knows no boundaries. An example is the concert at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival at Tivoli in July 2000, which was a joint venture between Moussa Diallo and the internationally renowned Danish trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg. At this occasion the Welsh harpist Helen Davies also joined the project.
"Chiwara", released in 2002, features musicians from Mali and is more traditional inspired. The song 'Maninda' from this CD was used on the 2005 Putumayo - Mali compilation CD. This album won him 'Best CD of the Year' in the 2003 Danish World Music Awards.
The songs on the album "Chiwara" were inspired by the African story-telling tradition and the stories of Moussa Diallo's own father in particular. Moussa himself is also a great story teller and he especially enjoys the young audience. In several different constellations and projects he has toured schools in the Scandinavian countries with his songs and an entertaining show.
In 2004 the album "Once Upon a time in Mali" was released with 12 African fairy tale songs. It was published in Danish together with a colorful book with stories, recipes and games ...all for children. The book is illustrated by Dominique Jal. English, French and Greek versions of the CD have also been recorded and await release.
Diallo's 7th release "Reflections" (2005) features four compositions by Moussa Diallo with prominent guest artists and was composed for an art exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark..
In 2006 the Danish Ken Gudman Rock Award was given in special acknowledgment to Moussa Diallo. The award was presented at a big show in Amager Bio in Copenhagen.
In connection with the event, Moussa released the compilation CD “Retrospective”.
Moussa Diallo has released two CDs “Acoustic Groove” and “Out Of Tune” in August 2008.