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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Organic and hypnotic., May 27, 2009
This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
Ali Farka Touré, the late great Malian and Grammy Award-winning guitarist, didn't want his son Vieux to follow in his footsteps, he thought the musical life would be too hard.
Thanks to kora master Toumani Daibate's intervention, Vieux never obeyed his father's advice to avoid the music business and join the army. Thus Ali finally was persuaded to let his son enter the lists.
On this his second album, rich in heavily-reverbed, shimmering, unmistakably Malian guitar, Vieux showcases an instrumental mastery inherited from his father.
While Ali - who has proved the soul of the blues could be found in West Africa - tends to stick to west African traditional songs with added modern sheen, Vieux, who is a more radical artist than his father, rethreads his native rhythms with funk, blues, reggae and even drum 'n' bass.
Impressively, the tracks have an organic feel and don't suffer the generic box-ticking of much world music.
Vieux Farka Touré here sets down his marker : he is now showing that those Western Sahara roots can be heard in things as far removed as indie rock and Jamaican club.
And "Fondo" really is a guitar showcase. There's plenty of evidence of finger-picking virtuosity, powerful bursts of quasi-reggae, and much inventiveness with acoustic percussion.
On the best tracks (like "Souba Souba") he effortlessly combines a commitment to his Western Saharan musical roots with a love of modern musical forms such as blues and reggae, which, despite their African roots, are now considered thoroughly Western.
Thanks to the widescreen sound and language-barrier ambiguity, many of his songs seem simultaneously mournful and celebratory.
The album can be seen also a moving tribute to his native Mali, and on the final track a guitar-kora duet between Vieux and his mentor, Diabate.
"At times the hypnotic grooves acquire a psychedelic tinge; elsewhere they affirm his connection to tradition. A dazzling piece of work". - Neil Spencer

Savane
Vieux Farka Touré
The Mande Variations
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certain To Be The Top African Album of 2009, June 12, 2009
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This review is from: Fondo (MP3 Music)
African music is a sort of indulgence I return to at least a few times a year. At its best it's exotic, longing, and gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Last year two of my favorites were Chiwoniso's Rebel Woman and Seprewa Kasa's Seprewa Kasa

This year, without question, I'm absolutely emamoured with Vieux Farka Touré's "Fondo". Most already know this is the son of the late, great musician Ali Farka Touré. Based on that, many more can probably guess the sort of genre this record fits into. But don't let that pigeonhole this album for you, there's wonderful guitar work here along with vocals that would be superlative in any genre.

If you only download one track, make certain it's the gorgeous "Fafa". Were you to do that, however, you'd miss out on an album that rewards in spades when taken as a whole. In fact, it's difficult for me to single out 'favorites' because I enjoy the entire record immensely.

It's well worth spending a few minutes trying out the samples here. Because if you're a fan of beautiful or exotic music, I'm willing to bet you'll find yourself owning this album within minutes. I certainly did.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a FANTASTIC album. Only a handful of reviews??!!, July 16, 2009
This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
Just goes to show you there's no justice - if there were, this album would be on every playlist across the U.S. and (various other tripe) you often hear would not be so heavily promoted. Anyway....

I was lucky enough to see Vieux Farka Toure live at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June 2009. The live show was absolutely incredible and I ordered the album as quickly as humanly possible. Since that time I've purchased every other VFT album for sale and honestly, the strides the artist has made in only a couple of years are really mindboggling.

I'd put this album head and shoulders above the original album and 'UFOs'. The difference, to my ear, is the sophistication of the melodies but also VFT's amazing guitar work. Having lived in Nashville for a while, I've been lucky enough to see plenty of performances by masters like Steve Winwood, Bela Fleck and Richard Thompson, and The Police's Andy Summers. Farka Toure, the younger, is well on his way to achieving similar distinction.

Most of my tastes run towards Brazilian artists like Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil and I know very little about contemporary African music, but I'd put this album into a category with the best releases those two artists have to offer. This CD hasn't left my car CD player in some weeks, and likely won't any time soon. BUY IT!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rising Son, July 31, 2009
This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
All too often the sons and daughters of musical legends launch promising careers only to never escape the shadow of their parent's greatness. Vieux Farka Toure, the son of Malian guitar legend, offers evidence on his latest release FONDO that he may be among the few to escape those shadows, plus create some of his own.

The younger Toure uses the style favored by his father as a springboard to move the timeless desert blues style towards the future. While his father has drawn numerous comparisons to John Lee Hooker in his style of guitar, Vieux could be more aligned with Jimi Hendrix. His fierce playing mixes the Malian guitar style with more modern touches like rock and funk. Add a strong bunch of backing musicians who add a modern sheen without diluting the content as often happens when African and other world artists reach for commercial audiences and you have a potent mix of great, but diverse tunes.

FONDO is an exhilarating album that should find favor with any fan of the late Ali Farka Toure, or African music in general. I'd also recommend it to more adventurous rock or R&B fans. To my ears, it's the best thing I've heard so far in 2009
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "blues" from West Africa, October 4, 2009
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This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
Add this to the slew of five-star reviews this CD has gotten. I LOVE this album. Love it. Now, for those unfamiliar with this person: View Farka Toure, like his famous father, is a Malian musician who plays in a style that is obviously influenced by 20th century American blues music, but in my opinion, he greatly exceeds any previous musicians of this genre with the interest he is able to generate with his wonderfully kinetic, multi-layered compositions. The "secret spice" here is Mali's rich and unique folk tradition. This is music that compels the listener to, at the very least, start drumming his/her fingers, although dancing is probable. As with any truly excellent music, Toure makes no effort to pander to anybody's conventions, and it has great music's essential quality of being simultaneously familiar and yet new. Toure, who is only about 30 years old, has already surpassed his father in skill, and in time will likely exceed him in fame as well.

Amazon posted a video here of Toure and his band recording their music. Check it out and note how much fun they're having.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring album, August 17, 2011
This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
I have always been fascinated with the music from Mali but have never known what was worth a listen. When I discovered Ali Farka Toure's sound was just what I was looking for, I did more research and found his son.

Vieux Farka Toure has an amazing touch on guitar and his tone is beautiful. His signature chorus sound is so full and rich. The songs on Fondo are all brilliant. One after another are solid jaunts through a magic kind of music. There is one reggae-style song that was very cool. I'm bombarded with mediocre reggae all the time where I live, so an African take on the genre is exciting.

Overall, a very good buy. There is enough music on this album to keep me going for a long while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you should buy this, August 11, 2010
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This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
I love his father's work and this looks like the son will surpass him. Great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is stunning, April 21, 2010
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This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
When you listen the Fondo you understand that the source keeps there. The source of Mali, that cames from Vieux's father - Ali Farka Touré for me the best African musician ever - and Vieux have keep this treasure on his hands. When you listen his music, you feel that Vieux is in a very good way to create his own route. He plays guitar in an hypnotic way, sometimes you feel you are in the middle of the deep desert, sometimes in the souks, sometimes in the modern city. This is Vieux Farka Toure with is Malian and African soul.
Its a paradise listen his musics. This album is absolutely stunning as i have say at the beginning. Must buy it, listen and feel the African and Malian Magic. No one in the world plays music as the people from Mali. Its the Source. The track Paradise is beautiful beautiful beautiful....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy successor, August 28, 2009
By 
Sssan "Book hound" (Bay Area, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fondo (Audio CD)
Ali Farka Toure introduced the world to the cradle of the blues and blazed a trail with Ry Cooder in 'Talking Timbuktu'. Here his son proves himself to be a worthy successor to an illustrious father.

Vieux's first album revealed his raw talent and virtuosity with the guitar, 'Fondo' represents a maturing of Vieux Farka Toure's sound in complex and richly satisfying package.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, January 8, 2014
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This review is from: Fondo (MP3 Music)
I liked this CD a real lot, in particular the song Fafa. Toure is an incredible musician and fun to listen to. Definitely worth purchasing.
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Fondo
Fondo by Vieux Farka Touré (Audio CD - 2009)
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