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Niafunke

Ali Farka ToureAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)


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Audio CD, 1999 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 22, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B00000JFRN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,438 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ali's Here
2. Allah Uya
3. Mali Dje
4. Saukare
5. Hilly Yoro
6. Tulumba
7. Instrumental
8. ASCO
9. Jangali Famata
10. Howkouna.
11. Cousins
12. Pieter Botha

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Ali Farka Toure's first album since his 1994 collaboration with Ry Cooder, Talking Timbuktu, makes a convincing argument for the adage that home is where the art is. Recorded in an abandoned brick edifice located between Toure's extensive rice fields and the Sahara-bordering village of Niafunké, Mali, this is the guitarist's most purely African album yet. Local percussionists, a sensuous village chorus, and a lonely one-stringed njarka violin accompany Toure here, replacing the Western guests who've tended to stilt his prior records. More relaxed and less gratuitously ornamental than before (especially when he plays acoustically), Toure digs deeply into spare, loping pentatonic grooves that extend beyond the usual John Lee Hooker blues comparisons into territory older, richer, and more folkloric (and Islamic) than earlier records have approached. --Richard Gehr

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In his own element November 20, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Ali Farka Toure is in his own element on this recording, offering a stripped down version of his plaintive music that evokes so many comparisons. Toure himself put the shoe on the other foot by saying that John Lee Hooker is a Malian at heart. One can hear a resonance in these two voices, but the music is very different. Toure comes from a strong Islamic as well as African tradition, and this music very much reflects that.
Toure was disappointed by some of the collaborative efforts he did, Taj Mahal in particular. He had a hard time fitting his music into the Blues mold producers wanted him to do. Scorcese makes the same mistake in his opening film in the PBS series, getting Toure to play along with Corey Harris, but you can see that his heart is not in it. Toure is very much his own man and this CD is the most representative of his personal feelings about music.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! March 27, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Ali Farka Toure's "Niafunke" is one great album, showcasing the West African approach to the guitar, and proving that Toure is getting better with each passing year. It was genius to avoid the homogenization of "world" music by recording this CD in Mali, near home, with local musicians. The music can be described as a sort of "Sahara blues", a mix of North and West African traditional music and American blues, but there's much more to it than that. Play this CD, be taken away by it, listen to the voices and instruments (African drums and strings), and you'll agree with Toure, who says that "Timbuktu [is] right at the heart of the world."
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars African music first- and listen to it that way November 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The most important thing to understand about this recording is the genuineness of Toure's claim to be be playing Malian music first, and American blues second. Toure is not the Malian John Lee Hooker. He plays the music of his land, with it's time, steps, paces, thoughts and wishes. It is trite and simple to say that Blues comes from Africans therefore . . . Toure is a deceptively simple introduction to African music. If you allow yourself to be lulled, fooled into thinking you have heard this before and it fits into your pre-built structure of music, you are missing some, maybe not most, of the spirit of this album. It rewards opening out. One day every listener, true listener, will allow themselves to hear the foreigness of this amazing album, and the rewards will have just begun.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home alone - Who needs Ry? November 28, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Dear Ry Cooder, thanks so much for being the route in to so much great music from around the world. Loved Buena Vista Social Club, Meeting Across the River showed indian music in a different light, and Talking Timbuktu introduced us to the blues of Ali Farka Toure.
But, Ry, Ali does it even better when you're not there. He recorded this album at home in Niafunke, after working in the fields all day. It's more stripped-down than your collaboration with him, but actually it gains from that (I still love your bottleneck, don't fear).
I'm sure you of all people, Ry, will appreciate the purity of the sound, its simplicity and connection with place. There's still the same blues element that we found so amazing, given the different roots of the music, but somehow it transports us in a different way without your guitar in the background. This album is at once downhome blues, lyrical and mesmerising.
So thanks, Ry, for taking us there in the first place, and thanks, too, for leaving Ali to show us his best style - pure and simple.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Recording December 29, 1999
By hammer
Format:Audio CD
I don't think I've ever heard music so personal, heartfelt, and intimate. It's almost as though I'm inside Ali Farka Toure. Niafunke stirs me with rhrythm, hypnotizes me with an undescribable deepness, and leaves me smiling that I'm here grooving with him in the Mali desert. This CD is a paradox...on one hand it's sound is unlike anything I've heard before, and on the other hand it's like an old friend that I know as well as my brother. Rootsy, improvisational, melodic, stunning. A timeless masterpiece.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff May 24, 2001
By Kal
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD purely by accident and really liked the beat and the guitar of some of the songs. My favourite is "allah uya". Some of the songs are a bit drag to western ear but overall I think this is a very good CD and very different from the everyday Anerican radio station stuff.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ali comes back with a bang June 4, 2004
By luke
Format:Audio CD
After 5 years of nothing from Ali Farka Toure he creates the best c.d. i have bought this year. I was pleasntly surprized when i heard this c.d. for the first time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Ali October 16, 2005
By magnus
Format:Audio CD
I was browsing the international section at the local book store, and I just bought niafunke only after hearing the first three songs. I then bought In the Heart of the Moon, which I have to say is equal to or better than niafunke, because of tumani. I have never wanted to try to emulate an artists sound when I make my own music, but after listening to Ali's music I have tried to capture his sound mixed with my own and have created my first song that has been majorly influenced by one artist. i highly recommend diverse international music. Ali Farka Toure is one you need to have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music from Mr Toure!
Amazing talent from Mali! I've played that cd so many times since I first brought it. Ali Farka Toure, may Allah bless you. Rest in peace!
Published 14 months ago by Nativegirl
4.0 out of 5 stars D.T. Smith
The music on this Ali Farka Toure record comes over as raw and vital in sound and nature. My collection is now complete of this late, great African guitarist and my favorite Dark... Read more
Published 21 months ago by D.T. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just essential--vital
Let's be honest: Music that gives pleasure to the listener is, relatively speaking, a dime a dozen. We hear it on the oldies stations; our collections are filled with such music. Read more
Published on July 14, 2010 by John B.
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE AUTHENTIC LESS PRETENTIOUS
I LIKED TOURE'S ALBUM HE DID WITH RY COODER, IT IS VERY GOOD. BUT THIS ONE IS BETTER. IT IS MORE TRADITIONAL, AUTHENTIC, MALI'IAN MUSIC, MORE STRIPPED DOWN, RAW, AND TRUE TO WHO... Read more
Published on March 4, 2007 by COMPUTERJAZZMAN
4.0 out of 5 stars Niafunke by Ali Farka Toure
Good music that represents the genre well. However, I actually liked "Talking to Timbuktu" better.
Published on February 19, 2007 by George C. Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars Unable to use in my slide show
I bought this cd specifically to use in my Mali-Burkina Faso slide show based on a recent trip. However, since there is something in the cd that prevents the slide show from... Read more
Published on July 13, 2006 by Frederick H. Yorra
5.0 out of 5 stars Off the Hook
Ali's throwback to traditional Malian style was a good idea. This guy's guitar style is really cool and perfetly accompanies his tired sounding, yet energetic chanting. Read more
Published on December 31, 2004 by Justin Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing disc
Ali Farka Toure uses western instrument to come up with very un-western sounds. While he uses an electric guitar (these tracks are my favourites), the sound he coaxes from it is... Read more
Published on September 5, 2003 by Victor Eijkhout
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