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Toumani DiabateAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 5 Songs, 2006 $4.95  
Audio CD, 1991 --  
Vinyl, 1991 --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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Frequently Bought Together

Kaira + New Ancient Strings + Mande Variations
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B00000061L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,253 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Alla L'Aa Ke
2. Jarabi
3. Kaira
4. Konkoba
5. Tubaka

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is a groundbreaking work establishing the 21-string kora as a solo instrument of great subtlety and range. Toumani Diabate is a virtuoso player and he delves into the classical West African kora repertoire with his masterful technique. The result is music that is both absolutely contemporary and totally timeless. The songs include the title track "Kaira," which means peace, and "Jarabi," which translates as passion. Peace and passion are key words pointing to why this album is so successful. Quietly, with dignity and grace, Toumani Diabate brings great beauty into the world, producing wellsprings of flowing music that transport the listener to a place of intense calmness and tranquillity. Kaira is a classic African recording that transcends genre to stand humbly among the best music ever produced. --Jeff Grubb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Classic for Strings August 9, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I studied classical music for quite a few years (as an amateur who enjoys piano and chamber music.) What is the most-played CD in my collection? Chopin's Nocturnes, the Moscow Concert of Horowitz? Nope, it's a CD by Toumani Diabate, New Ancient Strings. I am so addicted to the sound of the Mali harp-lute, the kora, that I also bought this CD "Kaira" or "Peace."
This is a much earlier CD, dating back to 1988. It is a solo CD, that is, Diabate plays alone instead of with a friend to provide the traditional rocking bass that support the improvisational treble. Here, on Kaira, Diabate plays both parts treble and bass, so the music is more immediate, but less complex. It's also livelier and has some very folk-sounding tunes. My particular favorite is "Jarabi" , with it's rocking, two-note figure in the base, and a rippling melody.
Diabate is the son of the Mali kora "King" --so he is often referred to as, of course, the "Prince" of the kora. His music is complex, jazzlike, traditional and fascinating. If you liked New Ancient Strings and want to hear Diabate on his own, this is an interesting and listenable CD. I played it for someone who was unfamiliar with Diabate and kora music and he was impressed, too.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, motivating music September 14, 2005
By ceapena
Format:Audio CD
I own 2 CDs by Toumani Diabate, Kaira and New Ancient Strings. Perhaps it's because I had Kaira first and fell in love with the kora through this CD, but Kaira is definitely my favorite of the two (don't get me wrong - I love both and actively listen to both). On Kaira Toumani Diabate plays solo kora, and when I realized that this was one person playing one instrument with no overdubbing I was floored. The music has so many layers to it, bass lines, rhythm, melody, that it is amazing to know it comes from only ten fingers (not sure how many of those you actually use to play the kora). It is beautiful, complex, ethereal, and somehow motivating all at once.

When I went to the hospital to give birth I brought 2 CDs with me - this one and Putmayo's Music from the Tea Lands collection (I highly recommend this one too). As I played these 2 CDs over and over (and over and over) during labor the hospital staff kept complimenting the music and the atmosphere that it created. Ultimately I gave birth to the Toumani Diabate CD, with the doctor humming along. I still listen to this CD all the time, after having owned it for years! This is a true testament to any music, that it stands the test of time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kaira - Peace July 9, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This solo album by Toumani Diabate is really a nice piece. However, it has a very different feel from Toumani's other popular recording, New Ancient Strings. Kaira is more earthy and raw sounding, whereas the acoustic used to record N.A.S. allows some echo, which really changes the mood. Kaira has no echo at all. But this does not make it unworthy! The music is excellent, especially the second track, Jarabi, my personal favorite. Overall a very good rootsy kora recording, with very nice pieces.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Gold! January 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This was my introduction to kora music about 7 years ago - I guess it's not really an "old" recording, but relatively speaking it is. Every track is excellent - beautiful harp-like sounds, very relaxing. The music truly has depth, and still sounds wonderful to me after all these years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extremely talented musician and composer October 18, 2008
By dtyamz
Format:Audio CD
All instrumental, solo music by an incredibly talented and unique Kora player. The Kora is a West African stringed instrument which has also been called the lute-harp (by those who need a point of reference). You really have to hear it to believe and appreciate it. I'm an accomplished acoustic and electric guitar player, heavily influenced by a wide variety of classical misic. For long lasting, non-intrusive listenability, I highly recommend this, especially for musicians of stringed instruments, including of course the piano. The melodic and rhytmic counterpoint is phenomenal and unique. I get drawn into it similar to the way that Mozart's Nachtmusik or Vivaldi's Four Seasons do, it's meditative. His later album is very similar, the Mande Variations. I bought them both at the same time. Make no mistake: this is very fine art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've always said.... December 31, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
...that it was healthy to occasionally listen to something totally different to your normal genres. Having first heard of Toumani Diabate when he met Michael Palin on the latters Pole to Pole journey all those years ago I was struck by the very different style and nature of the music. Fast forward most of 15 years years later and I finally scored myself a copy of one of his CD's.

The rear cover states that this album was recorded by Toumani live in the studio with no double tracking and with no other kora - his musical weapon of choice - as accompaniment. And given that it was recorded back in 1987 it sounds remarkably fresh and precise, though when you only have to record one instrument I guess that helps! What came across to me so strongly as I listened to this album over a period of several months was how many different melodies Toumani seemed to be playing at once and I suppose that speaks not only of his own musical talent but also of the very nature of the kora instrument itself.

As the album unfolded I found myself not really being able to pick a favourite track amongst the five presented here such is the way it all seems to meld together. There are times when that would be a problem however that is not the case here, rather the album feels like something you really do listen to the whole way through rather than cherry pick your favourite numbers.

The liner notes are brief though informative while this sort of music isn't likely to make great inroads into my wallet I'm glad I picked this up and may indeed acquire some more music of this type over the coming years.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very comforting and relaxing
Published 1 month ago by Dorothy C. Polockow
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! A jewel!
I rediscovered this album in updating my playlists, and was awestruck. What a virtuoso performance! On such a beautiful and melodic instrument, the kora. Read more
Published on December 20, 2011 by Peter L. Meserve
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sounds
Toumani Diabate produces amazing sounds and intriguing melodies with this very simple looking instrument. Read more
Published on February 16, 2009 by CaiS
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful musical composition!
perfect for relaxation... I love playing it in the morning while making breakfast... it brings me a sence of peacefulness and cheers me up at the same time.
Published on September 28, 2007 by Rosa I. Olivero
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Another great album by Toumani Diabate. If you are interested in getting a first album then you might try "New Ancient Strings" but I would recommend anything by this artist,... Read more
Published on August 26, 2007 by Nomis
5.0 out of 5 stars killa sound of african music
To be honest i'm still xploring west african music and i started collect and hearing about this music only in 2005 and i love this sounds. Read more
Published on November 10, 2006 by E. N. Boikanyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful music
It is very lively music, armonious and easy to listen. It sounds quite modern and light, almost danceable.
Published on May 25, 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A great solo album
This is my favourite CD featuring Toumani Diabate. If you are interested in kora music, this is THE album to get
Published on February 4, 2004 by M. Williams
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