17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Don't overlook this,
This review is from: Sakat (Audio CD)
This release came out in the same period as the Ali Farka Toure / Toumani Diabate duet "In the Heart of the Moon", and has been compared with it in reviews. Both discs are thoroughly in keeping with the respective artists: Ali and Toumani are renewers, and Ballake draws more on his traditions.
This is outstandingly beautiful music; it's more of an ensemble piece, prominently employing balafon, ngoni and vocals. And these instruments fit together so seamlessly. The quality of the musicianship is, as you would expect, superb; the vocal tracks, particularly with Rokia Traore, add focus; elsewhere you just drift into bliss.
For me, New Ancient Strings (with Toumani Diabate) was a milestone - this release belongs in that same league. Where, in my opinion, "In the Heart of the Moon" falls short. Comparing the two, the Guardian said, "If you buy two CDs, make this [Tomora] the second one" - inevitably - Toumani Diabate is a virtuoso and a genius and all that, Ali Farka Toure a giant of West African music. But I think they got it wrong. Unlikely as it is, I hope people will buy this, or both. Because at the end of the day, this is what I will be listening to...