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Ali & Toumani

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ali and Toumani is the second and final album pairing the late Malian guitar virtuoso Ali Farka Touré and kora master Toumani Diabaté . Recorded over three afternoons at London's Livingston Studios in 2005, with contributions from the late
Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club) on bass, Ali and Toumani is the follow-up to the duo's Grammy Award-winning 'In the Heart of the Moon.' The new album was produced by Nick Gold and recorded by Jerry Boys, the same production team behind the collaboration's first effort. It is the also the last album recorded by Ali Farka Touré, who
passed away on March 7, 2006.
The duo's new release presents their usual playfulness, effervescence, and mastery in further exploration of songs reaching back into both musicians' pasts. 'It wasn't about covering old songs just because there weren't any new ones, no
not at all,' said Diabaté, continuing: 'It was about revealing all the different possibilities once again... I believe this album to
be stronger and wiser, better than 'In the Heart of the Moon.' Simultaneously reverent and informal, this album brings
together the divergent folk and classical traditions from Northern and Southern Mali, creating a loving homage to the West African nation that is thoroughly appropriate for the late Touré's last recording. In the words of Diabaté, 'what we are doing
is very important because we are both, above all, Malians. It's about love, sincerity, [and] solidarity.'
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Digital Booklet: Ali & Toumani
Digital Booklet: Ali & Toumani
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0030U1U6U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,266 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on March 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
"...it's like you're reading a book about Ali..." With these words Toumani Diabaté opened his introduction to this, the last recording made with the late Ali Farka Touré. The eleven pieces on this exceedingly beautiful CD tell the story not only of the legendary blues man Ali Farka but of both virtuosi - Toumani at the kora and Ali Farka with the guitar - and their close friendship and harmonious collaboration that evolved during the last years of Ali Farka's life.

Anybody who has enjoyed their individual music and recordings for many years and their first, outstanding, joint production of In the Heart of the Moon will want to add this album to their collection. Yet, newcomers to Mali music will find this set of mostly instrumental songs especially rewarding. The tunes, all rooted in the history of the different regions of Mali, are gentle and subtle and richly melodious. Their styles reflect their respective ethnic cultures: Ali comes from the northern Songraï and Toumani from a long line of (southern) Mandé griot tradition. As Toumani explains in the accompanying notes, the melodies have been "refined" over several sessions to perfection; they are the outcome of an ever deepening mutual understanding of the two artists and appreciation of their musical roots and talents. Some of the pieces, familiar to one or the other, had never been recorded before or not in this combination of instruments. Others, were developed ad hoc from traditional melodies and historical stories. All are rich and diverse and illustrate why Mali plays such an important role in West African music. It is impossible to choose a favourite or two. Listen to all of them, many times.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the second recording collaboration between the late, great blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure (no. 76 in Rolling Stone's table of the `Greatest Guitarists of All Time') and Kora player Toumani Diabate, following-on from their 2005 Grammy winner `In the Heart of the Moon'. Both musicians are from Mali, which has produced a fruitful harvest of musical originality and inspired virtuosity these past 30 years unequalled anywhere else on Earth, and is where so much of the world's really interesting new music has originated.

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.
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For those who love World Music, this is the epitome. It combines virtuoso performances on both traditional African and modern western instruments. Music for ALL.
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Awesome music from Mali. Ali Farka Toure is a world treasure, and so is Diabate. i did not think they could top In the Heart of the Moon, but they arguably did. These two people should be very wealthy superstars and would be except that most people sadly don't know the difference between good music and crap. (And although the music is nothing like Charlie Hunter's new album--please do your self the favor of buying it too.)
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This recording was the last one made by two of West Africa's pre-eminent folk instrumentalists, due to the death of Ali Farka Toure. Even though Ali was in great pain, the recording demonstrated sensitivity and a working relationship between the two men that was jazz-like in its inter-play. It is Diabate's kora that shines through with shimmering runs and inventive effects that will surely entrance the listener and will ease the commute to work effortlessly. A sample of the music may be heard at [...], the sponsors of both this recording and the previous 'In The Heart of the Moon' recording.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This album is a must if you like African music! And I think it could be good start for those who have some interest in African music, but didn't quite developed love to it yet.
It didn't came to me as surprise the quality of music resulted from collaboration of this two giants of African music. What surprised me the most is quality of recording, even this probably should be expected as well, since so many African leading musicians have recorded their albums in top studios in Europe in last 8-10 years.
I bought MP3 download from Amazon because I just absolutely needed to listen to entire album after previewing just 3 samples. I love it so much, I'm planning to buy CD as well.
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