The success of this album derives not only from from the honest & selfless playing of Ali and Toumani but from the other musicians and technical boys at Livingston studios in London, to create a truly memorable musical experience.
I cannot praise this music enough. As in the previous album 'In the Heart of the Moon', recorded a year earlier in Mali, Nick Gold has the late Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez (of Bueno Vista Club fame) on double bass, providing subtle bass lines to support Ali's rhythmic patterns. Ali's son Vieux and his musicians sit in to give a fuller sound on a few tracks, pretty much as Ry Cooder did on the earlier album, but here it is more successful - sounding quite natural and giving a little variety to the overall sound.
Each track has been carefully recorded and mastered, with much thought given to multi-tracking, to fill out and expand the overall effect. The kora is by nature an extremely quiet instrument, so balancing its sound to other instruments is always problematic. That Nick Gold and his team have done it again so brilliantly is a credit to them, but as always, credit should go first and foremost to two of Africa's greatest musicians : Toumani Diabaté and the late Ali Farka Touré. An inspirational, valedictory album.