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on 25 November 2005
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...
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on 25 November 2005
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...
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on 21 February 2012
Tomora
Have recently been listening to Rokia Traore Bowmboi and came to TOMORA as she sings on one of the tracks. If you like Malian music this is a gem of an album - hypnotic, alluring, quirky. When I first downloaded it I was listening to it at night before going to sleep and never got further than the first couple of tracks as it's so mellow I'd be out for the count almost instantly! However, have since managed to listen to it all the way through and have been transported by the convoluted musical meanderings of the kora, n'goni and balafon and haunting vocals - I'm so glad I stumbled upon this magical music
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on 27 September 2015
I got a Toumani Diabate release a couple of years back, as well as albums by various members of Ali Farka toure's family along the way and thought I'd give Ballake Sissoko a try too. I tried to find an over-all adjective for this album and decided on 'soothing'. That doesn't mean that I'm putting it down or anything, as I need a bit of 'soothing' in my life after decades of listening to mock macho aggression from my default musical taste of Blues music, which has eventually made me mock macho aggressive too.I like good stuff and this fits that description.

Eamonn
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on 1 June 2009
If you loved Toumani Diabate's 'Djelika' you will love this - to me some of the sounds are very similar, with the sounds of the kora, n'goni and balafon. This recording is peaceful, hypnotic, divine, and will put you into a very relaxed and sublime state. It makes me think of a perfect summer's day. Most of the music is instrumental, with minimal vocals. It has become an instant favourite in my collection and will especially appeal to you if you already know that you love music from West Africa and Mali in particular.
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