Top positive review
64 people found this helpful
Love this? - then try their other stuff
on 25 November 2005
I've got most of Ali Farka Toure's and Toumani Diabate's catalogue and some of what they have done rates among my favourite music. Ever. I have seen them both live. And without a shadow, I would consider them to be among the most pre-eminent musicians working today. Reason enough to hugely look forward to this recording.
It's easy, though, to get carried away by hyperbole. They themselves know this; in Africa, musicians may be respected or even revered (as these two rightly are), but there is no cult of the superstar, no adulation or pretension. I think it's similarly easy to exaggerate the quality of musicianship on this recording - it's not the best that either have produced in the past. Which isn't surprising, considering that this is essentially a jam session! And I know I'm being a snob here, but to me the World Circuit treatment rankles - the occasional washes of electric piano and bass are, as ever, exquisitely tasteful and discreet - but the music is so strong, it just doesn't need this kind of support.
I read a review which said, this record is like taking an amiable walk with your two favourite uncles, one genial and laid-back, the other more prone to excitable flurries of talk. If you're looking for something inspirational, this ain't it. This is just very pleasant. Which sounds like an insult - again, it ain't. It's a compliment. These guys have both done blow-me-over inspirational (The Source, New Ancient Strings) and it's nice to take a break from that level of intensity.
So, four stars for what I have called a "nice, pleasant" recording. For the full five star, breathless can't-recommend-it-strongly-enough thing PLEASE check out Ballake Sissoko's latest (Tomora)! He's not as well known, but this disc is absolutely glorious.