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ALI AND TOUMANI
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Their second and last album together, recorded in 2005 with contributions from Orlando 'Cachaíto' López on bass. Produced by Nick Gold and beautifully recorded by Jerry Boys, this is the successor to the GRAMMY winning 'In the Heart of the Moon' which has sold over 40,000 copies in the UK alone. It is the last album recorded by both Ali Farka Touré and Cachaíto López.
These sessions brought together two legends of African music. The Malian-born guitarist and vocalist Ali Farka Toure was one of the first African musicians to become well-known outside his own continent. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues and he became known as the "African John Lee Hooker". Ali Farka Toure has recorded seven albums for World Circuit including the acclaimed "Talking Timbuktu", a collaboration with Ry Cooder.
Toumani Diabate is from a younger generation of Malian musicians and he comes from a family of exceptional griots. A master of the kora, a harp unique to West Africa with 21 strings, he is a performer of truly exceptional virtuosity and creativity. His cross-cultural approach to music has included collaborations with the Spanish flamenco group Ketama, bluesman Taj Mahal, the West African kora player Ballake Sissoko and pop star Bjork.
Personnel: Ali Farka Touré (guitar & vocals), Toumani Diabaté (kora), With: Orlando `Cachaíto' Lopez (bass), Vieux Farka Touré (congas, backing vocals), Souleye Kane, Ali Magasa (backing vocals), Tim Keiper (percussion)
"...precious testament of a hugely influential musician who helped reassert the African roots of blues guitar, captured here alongside his country's leading kora virtuoso.." -- The Independant
"Hear this and be thankful two of the brightest jewels in the African crown came together"
-- The Sun *****
"The interaction of Malian kora playing prodigy Diabate and the late great Niger-raised primal blues giant Farke Toure is the sort of material they must play in Heaven" -- Daily Mirror ****
"This is a magnificent and poignant farewell" -- The Guardian *****
(4 stars) Second sublime collaboration between two Mali masters. An African landmark...an album of spellbinding beauty. -- Uncut (Album of the Month), (Neil Spencer), March 2010
(4 stars) The final album by Timbuktu's favourite son finds him in masterful form...the kora solos still dazzle...never less than mesmeric. -- MOJO, (David Hutcheon), March 2010
(5 stars) 'In the Heart of the Moon' was as flawless a record as you could imagine...the follow-up is even better. -- Songlines, (Nigel Williamson), March 2010
(5 stars) The follow-up by Mali's greatest bluesman and his pal is another mesmeric tribute to Ali's legacy. -- Observer Music Monthly, January 2010
Brilliant, beautiful...the conversation between Touré and Diabaté has only deepened, a fluent push-me, pull-you flowing generously between the two.
-- The Observer (CD of the Week), (Kitty Empire), February 14, 2010
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lovely. Especially nice in the background for a dinner party with close friendsPublished 12 months ago by Jez
There is a clarity and beauty of production on both this and the sister album 'In the Heart of the Moon'. Beautiful to sit and listen to or to float in the air as background music.Published 17 months ago by Nickitson
You can't go wrong with either of these guys, sundown music of the first order and a good start point to try world music.Published on 9 Jun. 2014 by Col Doll
It is hard to understand how two people can create such a complete sound. It will draw you in and soothe your soul. Listen again and again and be mesmorised.Published on 8 Aug. 2013 by Anonymous