This is one of the best African CDs I've heard in a long time. Fortunately, the times of silly, artificial sounding studio instruments are over; instead, the music here is carefully recorded and mixed and tastefully arranged and played, using up-to-date studio possibilities. One has the feeling of being quite close to the musicians. The record sounds stripped down, in spite of up to more than 20 participants. Rarely has African music sounded so truly "World Music" - that is, relevant, as here. And, last not least, Salif Keita has got to have one of the most special voices now recording.