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The Source

Price: £13.95
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Frequently Bought Together

The Source + In the heart of the moon + Talking Timbuktu
Price For All Three: £38.17

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 July 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ADA Global
  • ASIN: B000000628
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Goye Kur
2. Inchana Massina
3. Roucky
4. Dofana
5. Karaw
6. Hawa Dolo
7. Cinquante Six
8. I Go Ka
9. Yenna
10. Mahini Me

Product Description


The source of the Niger River? The source of the blues? Ali Farka Toure is one of the great African guitarists--one who has experimented in the most subtle of ways, seeking inspiration but never creating fusions with other popular music styles. The Source is more roots and less fronds than his Ry Cooder recording Talking Timbuktu; this earlier recording did find him working with Taj Mahal and harmonica player Rory McLeod, but mostly this is a recording with his amazing band, calabash players Amadou Sisse and Hamma Sankare and conga player Oumar Toure, plus a chorus of singers. The emphasis is on the guitar of Toure and the source of the music, the soil of Mali itself. --Louis Gibson

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "johnnylips" on 4 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
..I had just bought a dodgy green cassette of this in Ghana, and slapped it into my walkman as I began a journey south. If only the music had lasted as long as the rickety bus ride...
More recently The Source has found a permanent home in my car stereo; it seems to be perfect music for journeys. Its forty five minutes transport you further than an F-16. So much is made of Ali's bluesy riffs and licks, but it's the piercing tone of his guitar and the way it mingles with the gritty and windswept tone of the fiddles, and the smooth but grainy texture of the voices which gives it its distant appeal - it's an album of textures simultaneously as rough and as smooth as the Sahara, and every bit as remote.
Those cyclical melodies and clickety-clack rhythms are other trademarks of this part of the world - they can be heard on the music of Tinariwen and Tartit, too. The Source is roots music as it should be, respectful of tradition and playful in its exploration of new forms. A wonderful ride.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Henk Beentje TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
I agree with johnnylips' review (below) - but would like to add that I think this is the best of Toure's albums. As rich as a good Kente cloth, as beautiful as a desert sunset, eternal as the river Niger - plus rhythms as funky as they get. Music that goes straight to the heart. Effortless riffs, improvisations upon simple themes - deceptively simple, that is. This is rich rich music!
I was sad to hear that Ali 'Farka' Toure died earlier this year, but I am very grateful to him for leaving Niafunke, Mali, and the world at large a wonderful musical heritage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Cov. on 16 Dec. 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Just have a listen. Try a sample. His music is beautiful, different and engaging. Not something to dance to I should point out, but a gourmet's delight to wallow in!

His playing is simple yet complex. Complex yet pleasingly simple to follow.

I fell in love with his music whilst listening to the Andy Kershaw, world music show on BBC Radio many years ago.

This album sums him up superbly.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. M. Crawley on 9 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've heard some great African albums - Tinariwen's Amassakoul and Boubacar Traore's Mariama for example. This beats the lot and the other Ali Farke Toure albums I've listened to as well. It's more uptempo and rousing than Niafunke or Talking Timbukto with lovely fluid string work. This is truly and wonderful, wonderful album and if you're looking for somewhere to start with African music I heartily recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A Gem 26 May 2005
By Douglas H. Watts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Aside perhaps from the necessary hype to introduce a Malian musician to Western listeners who don't know where or what Mali is, I don't hear much similarity to American blues music in this Ali Farka Toure release. Except maybe the pentatonic scale, but that's used in Japanese and other musics too. And certainly the comparison to John Lee Hooker is bizarre. In this album, Mr. Toure exhibits some serious guitar chops across a wide swath of tempos, rhythms and styles. Most important, his seemingly effortless yet complex guitar playing is employed over beautiful compositions, vocal melodies, percussion and singing. The first track, "Goye Kur" is a tour de force with ringing, fluid chorused guitar, a bright bold vocal chant and melody, rumbling and precise calabash percussion and a haunting njarka line that anchors the whole shebang. Hawa Dolo reminds me weirdly of Ben E. King and the Drifters doing a solemn, yet hopeful prayer song. The solo instrumental, Cinquante Six, has a nice Chet Atkins vibe with its delicate and nimble fingerpicking. Excellent recording, mixing and production top it all off.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Haunting 15 Oct. 2001
By VPerry_co_dutchess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I prefer this Farka Toure to "Talking Timbuktu " (with Ry Cooder). Each of the songs here has more draw for me then those assembled on Talking Timbuktu . The mood ranges from bouncy to swinging to brooding to mournful.
My favorite song "Hawa Dolo" is a haunting almost lullaby-like work without chorus or other accompaniment. I don't know what the song is about but it makes my heart stop.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
How the blues got from Africa to America 5 April 2000
By Charles Krakoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I own most of Ali Farka Toure's recordings, but this was the first one I bought and, to my mind, still the best. This recording shows how the relationship between African and American music has been bi-directional. The (American) blues stems from African music, but it (as well as American jazz and Latino music) has also sent its influence the other way. You can hear a lot of this cross-fertilization in Ali Farka's music, together with Arab influences.
But what does it sound like? Robert Johnson of the Niger? Son House of the Sahel? The guitar playing is clear, penetrating and soulful, the accompaniment is spare, clean and rythmic and the singing is haunting and sublime. In addition to being a great guitarist, Ali Farka is a superb singer. Unless you speak Bambara, you can't understand it, apart from the occasional French bits, but that hardly matters. When you listen to Maria Callas singing La Boheme, you can't understand the words, but the meaning and the feeling come through loud and clear. Ali Farka's singing has the same effect.
Buy this record!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Awsome African blues 7 Sept. 2001
By Steve Adams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had heard about Ali Toure` and his virtuoso guitar work-it's not hype; the man can PLAY. "The Source", is a fantastic CD, and I can hardly wait to buy more of his CD's. He is living proof that you don't have to be from the Mississippi Delta to be a great Blues guitarist and to play with feeling.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Correction... 24 Feb. 2008
By ThereminSong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In response to the last review, this CD (1991) was cut before talking timbuktu (1994), and to my ears is in fact a much better record. Toure is with his own band here, with the celeb's just making token background appearences on a few tracks. The Ry Cooder session sounds like it is under a coat of post-production varnish, where as this record's sound is much more immediate and fresh.
Of Toure's "electric" discs in wide release, I think this is the most satisfying listen from start to finish, without the production overpowering the music, which is compelling even unaccompanied (such as on Radio Mali.)
Talking Timbuktu achieved its goal of making Toure a star in the west, but his other albums, which are not "crossover" records, are far more rewarding...
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