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4.8 out of 5 stars45
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 June 2000
I only discovered this cd when I hired it at random from Sheffield City Library. It wasn't my normal type of music and I wanted to hear something different. I noticed it had a Grammy Award and I thought I'd try it. I was not dissapointed. This is a superb, well recorded cd and the bluesy style rythms just draw you into it. Whilst some of the rythms are quite repetitive it never gets boring and keeps you listening from start to finish. Highly recommended
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on 26 July 2004
I have 6 or 7 CDs of music from Mali and find myself listening to this one most often. While I love them all --- the combination of musicians: Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder is unbeatable. Track #1 "Bonde" sung in Peul begins with a fantastic guitar introduction by Ali Farka Toure. Each note is drawn out just right to hook the emotions. The congas played by Oumar Toure provides an infectious rhythm. One male voice begins while a chorus responds in rhythmic unity, telling the story of why some women are unsuitable for marriage. Track #2 "Soukara" is sung in the Bambara language ... it has the sound and feeling of music from the Caribbean with a suitable ambient melody. The male vocalist pours his heart out to his lover at night, so say the liner notes. Another favorite track is #5 "Amandral" sung in the Temasheck language. The rhythms and sounds of this desert tribe is familiar. They are unforgetable on the CDs, "Festival in the Desert" and "Radio Tisdas Sessions", both of which are highly recommended. As each guitar note is plucked, the feelings of the listener are hooked. The feelings rise ... ever higher in resonance with the melody and mood expressed on the slide, acoustic and bass guitars, drums, calabash, and congas. Without exaggerating, I feel this CD contains some of the finest guitar playing on the planet. Other favorites are: #6, "Lasidan" (#6) which has a peppy, cheerful and upbeat tempo and #7, "Keito", which has musical elements of India and Pakistan or is it the Meditarranean? Ry Cooder plays the tamboura, Ali Farka Toure plucks and strums the electric guitar. There is a syncopated rhythm played on the congas and calabash. The music of Mali is highly distinct and very appealing. It is the best music from Northern Africa, and to this listener, the best from the whole continent of Africa. Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)
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on 12 February 2001
Anybody who has read Robert Palmer's "Deep Blues" or Alan Lomax's "The Land Where The Blues Began" will know that the roots of all todays popular music lie in the rhythms that the slaves brought with them from Africa. I was browsing on Amazon when I came across this CD and thought it would put some music to the words, so I decided to buy (1-click does that to you!) Having played this CD a few times now, loud, quiet, in the car, at home I can certainly recommend it to anybody who has an interest in the history of whatever they're listening to now. More importantly, this is not just history, the music is very alive and vibrant and immaculately produced. Ry Cooder - keep searching and delighting real music lovers. An excellent buy.
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on 18 March 2005
A beautiful mixture of music from Mali, the most recognisable African music,and the superb guitar of Ry Cooder.
If you only listen to one track try track 5, Amandrai.
Put a do not disturb sign on your door, Turn off the lights, sit back and be smothered in the lovely slow and smooth playing.
Any music lover cannot fail to enjoy it. Also try Niafunke and The River also by Ali Faka Toure
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Ry Cooder's interest in ethnic folk music from the developing world is well known; his most celebrated project to date was probably bringing `The Buena Vista Social Club' from quiet obscurity in Cuba to a wider global audience.

This well-deserved 1995 Grammy winner is a collection of songs by Malian blues/folk musician Ali Farka Toure with his backing musicians Hamma Sankare and Oumar Toure together with Cooder, Clarence Brown, John Patitucci and Jim Keltner. The album was recorded over three days in California in late 1993 during Toure's US tour, and produced by Cooder.

Instantly accessible and eminently listenable, `Talking Timbuktu' reveals a deeper side with repeat plays as the complex interplay of these excellent musicians beguiles its way into your soul. All the songs are sung in one or other of the various ethnic languages of Mali with English translations in the insert booklet, so you know what Toure is on about. Some of the numbers are in the groove of Mississippi Delta blues, which reveals where the style originates: West Africa.

You can listen to this album all day long wherever you are and whatever you're doing; it's truly music for all seasons. It has an exotic & authentically African flavour, is delightfully upbeat and some of it is wonderfully danceable. Admittedly the result is more Toure than Cooder: the American musicians take a back seat and act as sidemen to Toure and his band, to sublime result. Cooder's attention to detail means that the overall production is near-faultless, with the sound in perfect balance.

If you don't know any of the excellent music which has come out of Mali these past 20 years (Salif Keita, Amadou & Mariam, Super Rail Band, Bassekou Kouyate, Fatoumata Diawara) then `Talking Timbuktu' would be a good port of entry and a purchase you're unlikely to regret.
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on 11 August 2008
I came across this album by fluke actually, but soooo glad I did. Flicking through the channels I came to the film 'Unfaithful'. Brilliant film. Went to look up the soundtrack for it and someone had written a review saying that the particular track from this album was not on the soundtrack to Unfaithful and thankfully they said which one it was on. This one!

This album is fantastic, beautiful, bluesy, soulful and sexy to boot. I can't stop listening to it! I am about to go and purchase more from this guy and hope to be just as enthused by his other work.
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on 28 May 2009
Every now and again an album is released that will change you. Not necessarly in a massive way, but the world is a slightly different place after hearing it. This album is one of those. I discovered this album by accident, put it on an mp3 player and travelled with it extensively. Three years later it still sounds as good. The musical synergy that exists between Ry Cooder and Ali Farka Toure is tangible and the effects are astonishing. Words cannot express how highly I rate this album.
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on 16 December 2013
This beautiful music is a solace to the soul and a joy to those who wish to dance. It got me dancing again in the kitchen after quite a bad illness and a difficult time. It also inspires me as I am an amateur guitar player and songwriter. Music floats above everything like the sky and unites us all like the sun and stars.
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on 4 April 2014
A great combination of two talented musicians. This album has been around for a while but is always good to hear.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 September 2011
This is a terrific coming together of two Giant talents. A sublime journey that flows seamlessly and effortlessly, it's a genuine joy to listen too. I would also like to recommend ' A Meeting Across The River ' also by Ry Cooder and including V.M Bhatt. Sensational!!!
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