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Ali & Toumani
Review of CD by Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate

By Julius Timmerman
Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010

Following on from their first collaboration of 2005, “In The Heart Of The Moon”, Ali and Toumani do it again with another set of beautiful mesmerising tunes and songs, this time ably accompanied by Toure’s son Vieux and Cuban double-bassist Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez (from Buena Vista Social Club). This was both Ali’s and Orlando’s last recording. One would never know from the music that Ali was already in pain, a prelude to his death in 2006.

Like “In The Heart Of The Moon”, these mostly instrumental sessions were recorded over three days, this time in London rather than Bamako, and the mood of the album is quite similar, as is the chemistry. So if you loved that one, you’ll love this. Ali’s traditions are from the north of Mali, Toumani’s Mande traditions are from the south, but despite differences in age and background this is a meeting of minds and spirit, with Toumani’s kora improvisations seamlessly cascading over and weaving in and out of Ali’s bluesy guitar and voice.

A little more polished than its predecessor, with a few re-workings of Ali’s tunes thrown in, this is another very intimate jam session so nicely recorded it remains compelling from the first note to the last, music to soothe the most savage of beasts.

Master collaborations like this deserve to be heard. Do yourself a favour.

WORLD CIRCUIT (thru Fuse Music)

 
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