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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
10
4.4 out of 5 stars


VINE VOICEon 29 June 2011
I am a big fan of Toumani Diabate, and was intrigued to hear how this collaboration worked.

Overall it's an album worth getting, but less for the collaboration than when the African musicians and influences are firmly on top, such as the wonderful 'Kalanjan' and 'Guede Man Na'.

Some of the tracks heavily featuring Taj Mahal don't really work, in particular 'Ol Georgie Buck', in which a slightly ramshackle backing appears to bear no relation to what Taj is singing over the top.

I wonder whether they really gave themselves enough time prior to the recording to create a genuine fusion, as was achieved with the brilliant Afrocubism album.

I'd say if you're a fan of Toumani, ngoni player Bassekou Kouyate, the wonderful vocalist Kassé Mady Diabate et al, this album is still worth getting - you just might end up skipping 2-3 of the tracks...
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on 15 February 2000
This CD is the result of a musical meeting between the blues of Taj Mahal and a Malian traditional Kora player, Diabate.In the somewhat breathless insert it describes this as being a revelation to Taj Mahal of the real West African origins of blues music. At times the two do make great music, rhythyms and voices combining in synergy on the more traditional African tracks particularly well. The more 'blues' based tracks seem less convincing and Toumani's musicianship feels tacked on rather than fully integrated. Try the more traditional recordings of instrumental Kora music if this intrigues, especially 'New Ancient Strings' with Ballake Sissoko
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on 10 August 2000
I was expecting another good ol' blues album from Taj Mahal which would have been well worth waiting for anyway. Instead, I got one of those records that are very few and far between - one which made you sit down and really listen to every single second. This is not music just to have on in the background. This is music that should be given out free on the national health to make people feel better.
Friends who had never heard of Taj Mahal were stopped in their tracks and asked for the volume to be turned up so that they listen more closely to the fantastic sounds.
Taj, give us more of the same please soon.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2015
l don't disagree with the three-star reviewer who finds some of the kora playing on this disc 'tacked on', but the sheer amount of lovely music on this 1999 recording by the mighty Hawaiian-based US bluesman Taj Mahal and Malian kora maestro Toumani Diabate makes it worth hearing, living with, and cherishing.
There's certainly the feeling that Taj and Toumani are to some extent circling around each other, and perhaps much of this long set of twelve tracks was improvised - but to me it only makes it the more likable, with a back-porch feel, as though the two of them, along with the other musicians, had decided it might be a good idea to play together for a while.
The opener Queen Bee is one of Taj Mahal's great compositions, a joyous blues on which Ramadou Diakite adds her fluid vocal alongside the gruffer voice of Taj.
From then on, it's a blend of blues and Malian songs, and the more I've lived with this unusual album, the more I've grown to love and appreciate its unique sound, by two musical masters.
The booklet is worth a look and a read, and as I listen while I type, the overlapping of kora and guitar and other instruments is balm for the spirit.

Lovely.
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on 12 November 2007
Taj Mahal fuses blues with the sounds of Mali, this is a masterpiece, a beautifully and lovingly made collection of songs
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on 13 January 2014
Found this artist on a folk compilation. Wow! what an experience he had making this album. My favourite in the car.
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on 8 April 2000
This is a really worthwhile project in which two of the best musicians alive today enjoy each other's music. Worth listening to for Queen Bee alone which works perfectly. I do share the doubts of the previous reviewer. I do wonder - why bother? but the answer to that has to be, for me - they did it and it works.
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on 5 February 2017
Not his best but still a lot of fun to listen to.
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on 11 September 2015
excellent CD
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on 28 October 2013
I heard this playing at a recording studio in Perigord & had to get a copy for myself. Led me to research more of Taj Mahal's work. I already had stuff from Diabate.
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