Mamar Kassey, the band around musician Yacouba Moumouni named after the founder of the legendary Songhai Empire that stretched along the Niger River, has for many years been Nigerien music's calling card. After a break of five years, Mamar Kassey now returns with the downright beautiful 'Taboussizé'. For this album Moumouni reinforced his regular band with four guests: singers Fati Mariko and Safiah, together representing the past and the future of Nigerien music, Harouna Godjé, master of the one-snared godjé, a Nigerien violin, and flutist Jean-Luc Thomas. With title track 'Taboussizé' Mamar Kassey wanted to encourage the many Nigerien migrants working in Côte d'Ivoire and 'Mali' has a somewhat similar vibe, but is meant for the war-plagued Malians. The fact Yacouba loves his home country is proven by 'Kountché', a beautiful flute driven song about former Nigerien president Seyni Kountché, and 'Bowdi', a tribute to everything which makes Niger the beautiful country it is. Highly recommended effort by the stalwarts of Nigerien music!