some of these have already been mentioned:
Toumani Diabate's Symmetric Orchestra
- "Boulevard De L'Independance" - World Circuit 2006
[increadible album, a fusion of the country's traditional instruments with modern instruments like a drum set or electric guitar and electric bass - some serious uplifting dancefloor stuff innit as well, the cd comes together with a short but great and very inspiring dvd.]
Ali Farka Toure
- "Savane" - World Circuit 2006
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate
- "In The Heart Of The Moon" - World Circuit 2005
[there are many more great records by ali farka, from the 70s, 80s and 90s - some of the older ones have been re-released. the above two albums are his last ones, and also the greatest i think. the collaboration with toumani is a timeless piece of art. ali farka died in march 2006.]
- "Aman Iman : Water is Life" - skycap 2007
[this is there second album? i'm not sure. i saw/heard them live a few months ago in cologne - really meditative music. no wonder - the musicians regularly went backstage to put some more smoke in the air.]
Toumani and Ali Farka are from Mali.
Tinariwen are also officially from that country but they originate from the nomad tribes of the Touareg. There is much more recorded music from West-Africa with that kinda sound. The place is famous for it.
for an interesting and bassheavy view into the current rap / dancehall / kwaito from africa - check out|here records from munich..
"URBAN AFRICA CLUB"
- Hiphop dancehall & kwaito
"LAGOS STORI PLENTI"
- Urban soundz from Nigeria
"AFRICAN REBEL MUSIC"
- Roots reggae and dancehall
.. and more great stuff.
they also recently put out the great BASSEKOU KOUYATE, also from mali, like ali farka also a griot - a story teller who knows over 1000 songs by heart, having learnt them from his father - you know how the story goes - 800 years of history:
BASSEKOU KOUYATE & Ngoni ba
- "Segu Blue" - traditional ngoni master
the ngoni from west africa is the original banjo.
if you undastaand some german, check the fine arte metropolis report about him: http://www.youtube.com/v/JbsSnFLriYM
this is all i got in mind at the moment.
if you listen to blues music from the USA like the sound of John Lee Hooker and others - that's roots african music as well, thats just it..