46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Malian blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure and kora master Toumani Diabate are in inspired form on this follow-up to their Grammy award-winning 2005 collaboration 'In The Heart Of The Moon'. 'Ali & Toumani', produced by Nick Gold was recorded at London's Livingston studios during the same year and also features the subtle Cuban bassist Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez.
The bluesy, mesmerising music on this magnificent recording is a fitting memorial to the late Malian guitarist and should be a strong contender for 'World Music' album of 2010.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2010
Although neither musician is a stranger to recording, there is a specialness to this album, which goes far past any concepts of production.Ali and Toumai uite in this recording in a way suggestng they knew it was to be Ali's final cut. Every track exhibits a unity and harmony which is rare in anyfield of music. For me, not a single track disappoints or is mundane. The specialness of the whole album is something I have rarely found anywhere else in my collection.
For this reason I have had to 'put pen to paper' for the first time here. If this fails to collect World Music Album 2010, then truly, there is no justice!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2010
Do you really need another Ali Farka Toure CD?
Do you really need more kora from Toumani?
And you've probably already got their first CD together......
I was unsure whether to bother with this latest release but I'm so glad I got it.
It is simply incredibly. Two musicians completely confident with their cultures and abilities. The result is laid back, seamless fusion of different styles.
The tracks are almost totally just kora, acoustic guitar and a little bit of vocals here and there. There is a smattering of extra bass, percussion and backing vocals on a few tracks.
Outstanding - made me revisit and listen with more care to both artists previous releases. A wonderful tribute to Ali Farka Toure.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2010
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.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Being an ardant jazz fan I rarely ever get the chance to listen to this kind of music but what a great album this is.
The combination of Kora and acoustic guitar, along with it's two world renowned exponents,make this a beautiful and uplifting album.The tunes are all very simple and,of course are African influenced, but once the two musicians start to interweave harmonies the music takes on a whole different quality.The Kora comes across as the more dominant instrument but both men play equally important parts in making this music.It's sensual beauty will relax you at the end of a hard day - just sit back and let two great musician weave their way into your subconcious.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2010
The last of the outstanding collaboration between two masters of their fields. The delayed but hugely welcomed recording of one of Ali farka Toures last duos with Toumani diabate before his untimely death 2 years ago.
This sublime recording combines the effortless interplay of kora and guitar, between two modest geniuses of modern yet classic forms of song, some folk other from the Sunjata epic form which straddles the culture of Toumani and the spacial playing form of Ali farka Toure's so called desert blues.
Voice features sparingly and yet the instrumental sound is both lyrical and harmonic. Both heart breaking and heart warming sometimes combined in one piece.
Ali Farka died shortly after, and Toumani speaks on the sleeve notes of not being sure who was supposed to have died first, but here is a permanent testament to both friendship and love of expression.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2010
I have always been an admirer of Ali's and this last album is even better than In the Heart of the Moon - itself a Grammy winner. If you liked that - you'll love this. If you've never heard Ali Farke Toure's magical guitar playing or Toumani's Malian harp playing, these albums are a must for your collection of soothing, haunting, enchanting African music. Go buy!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2010
Simple as that....
Treat yourself, whether or not you are a fan,and enjoy the beauty created by 2 sublimely talented musicians playing together and 'knowing' that one was soon to die.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2010
This album was recorded in four days in June 2005, not long before Touré succumbed to cancer. As such, it is a fitting testament to the man's work and the traditions of Mali.
Not that Diabaté is secondary here; the manner in which each man weaves his instrument, one the guitar and one the traditional kora, in and out of each other is nothing short of stunning. The music they produce together is tranquil, limpid and liquid; repeating figures varied with great subtlety and beguiling charm, melodies from this folk tune or that Touré blues mingled to produce something new.
This is playing of the highest order, yet seems utterly effortless. Probably the album surpasses this pair's previous record, 'In The Heart Of The Moon', itself a remarkable disc.
One of 2010's best, then, even though the year is only one-third done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the second recording collaboration between the late, great blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure (no. 76 in Rolling Stone's table of the `Greatest Guitarists of All Time') and Kora player Toumani Diabate, following-on from their 2005 Grammy winner `In the Heart of the Moon'. Both musicians are from Mali, which has produced a fruitful harvest of musical originality and inspired virtuosity these past 30 years unequalled anywhere else on Earth, and is where so much of the world's really interesting new music has originated.
This collection was released in 2010, following Toure's death from bone cancer in 2006. The sessions were recorded in London just weeks before Toure's death. Cuban bass player Orlando Lopez plays on many of the tracks, and the album was produced by Nick Gold.
If you're new to the music of Mali, this album is an excellent gateway of entry. The mostly instrumental tunes are subtle, complex and have a lightness of touch which simply brings joy to the heart. Many pieces are recorded for the first time with these instruments, so even natives of Mali familiar with the melodies may be surprised and delighted at the result.
Overall it's one sublime listening experience. The music possesses a rare delicacy and finesse; the musicians seem telepathic in the way of world-class jazz musicians, able to predict and follow each other to weave beguiling patterns and transport the listener to the heights of tranquillity.
If you like West African music then buying this should be a no-brainer. For my money it's even better than the Grammy winner `In the Heart of the Moon': this second collaboration is uniformly excellent with no flat spots, you can play it all day and all night long and never tire of it.
Recording and production values are exemplary. Buy it.