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Call it Malian soul. While the fluid keyboard-and-percussion-led grooves that accompany Salif Keita on his recent Folon…The Past are generally striking enough, this West African albino’s fervent delivery of his Maninka, Bamana, and French lyrics is what makes him essential listening. Although a few cuts are bogged down by drab jazz fusion studio hackwork, and the lyrics, as translated, don’t always rise above the merely generic, the interplay between Keita’s Muslim-influenced scale-spanning cry and his female backing vocalist’s resonant harmonies on cuts such as “Mandjou” and “Nyanyama” is transcendent. At 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. $20-25. (202) 328-6000. (SK)