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Red & Green


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Audio CD, May 10, 2005
$24.99
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$24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock. Sold by newzone8 and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This double disc collects long sought-after, essential vintage recordings from one of West Africa's most influential artists. Fans of Malian guitar Ali Farka Toure can hear these previously vinyl-only classic tracks, out of print form ore than a decade, that first ignited in the artist dubbed "the John Lee Hooker of Africa."

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Malian superstar Ali Farka Toure is often described as a bluesman. Although he was certainly inspired by the recordings of John Lee Hooker, he was also saturated from birth in centuries-old parallel traditions that had evolved in his homeland. Incontestably one of the world's greatest guitarists, Toure's implacable sense of rhythm is equaled by an intuitive yet extroverted grasp of modal melody. As he is now semi-retired, the reissue of these long out-of-print recordings is a special cause for celebration. Known only by the color of their album sleeves, Red and Green were the final two of seven vinyl LPs released by the French Sonodisc label between 1975 and 1988. Both are uncompromisingly acoustic; Toure¹s wailing, moaning voice and picking are supported only by backing vocals, calabash (shaker) or ngoni (a four-string guitar.) But these simple forces offer oblique insights into the early development of an increasingly private, ever-more-elusive genius. --Christina Roden

Disc: 1
1. La Drogue
2. Ali Aoudy
3. Cherie
4. Timbindy
5. Laleiche
6. Ketine
7. Laisse les Phases
8. Baliky lalo
Disc: 2
1. Sidi Gouro
2. O Kata Gouna
3. Devele Wague
4. N'timbara
5. Zona
6. M'baudy
7. Petenere

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0007PLKZC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By J. TIMMERMAN on June 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
A set of two albums from 1984 and 1988, previously unavailable on CD and nicely presented in a slip-case, the "Red" and "Green" albums from Mali singer/guitarist Ali Farka Toure. The "Red" is the album that BBC Radio 3's Andy Kershaw found in a bargain bin in Paris, when Ali was a nobody. This discovery convinced him to implore World Circuit's Anne Hunt to help find him and bring him to London, which they did, launching Ali's career.

This is rootsy music, rather more carefree and urgent than the relaxed and sophisticated Talking Timbuktu he made with Ry Cooder some time later. The same ingredients are there though - the improvisatory yet lyrical bluesy guitar and the determined mournful voice backed by Hammer Sankare's sympathetic vocals and sparse yet insistent calabash percussion tapping out mesmeric rhythms that give the music a forward impetus. On the "Green" album we also hear the traditional n'goni guitar and some rapid-fire vocals.

The finesse of these recordings is readily apparent - this is highly accomplished performing of "desert blues" whose apparent simplicity is deceiving. If you're familiar with World Circuit's "Radio Mali" which contains tracks from the five albums before these two, you'll have an idea of the sound and the skill this fine musician presents here. Those new to Ali's music may find these albums repetitive, but they're certainly a must for the fans.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on June 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Stop reading. Buy this.

But if you want more of a review... I asked for, and received this for Christmas 2005 and it jumped into being my favorite AFT album.

If you're a fan of acoustic guitars in the right hands, if you're a fan of rhythm that crawls into your soul until you realize you've been hypnotized, rocking back and forth on the floor or couch or front porch for the past hour, you should buy this. Ali was an undeniable master of touch and tone. Basically he's playing a guitar that you might be able to sell on eBay for $20 yet his tone is pure magic. It's a singular voice in the world of guitar. All the top-of-the-line vintage guitars or new necks or more frequent changing of the strings or bigger effects racks in the world aren't going to give you this if it's not inside you. What Ali had in his fingers and soul, you either have or you don't.

Here I think are many of the best examples of Ali's brilliance and emotional power. The melodic beauty of a great njarka fiddle player mixed with the hypnotic, rhythmic drive of the glorious drone-lute (the amazing ancestors of the American banjo) players... here it's all happening on one guitar at the same time. This set, much of Red specifically, is where AFT's perfect synthesis of those things occured and came out in one of my favorite music/song/guitar styles of all time.

During the Red & Green years he truly had the high voice that's often favored in various cultures throughout Africa. There are tunes during his middle-aged (and later) years that have a similar sort of mood as some of Hooker's greats from the Chess years like Groundhog Blues, Worried Life or Down at the Landing but Red & Green has none of that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Reddy on May 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Track listing incomplete on disk 2.

Disc: 2 Green

1. Sidi Gouro

2. O Kata Gouna

3. Devele Wague

4. N'timbara

5. Zona

6. M'baudy

7. Petenere

8. L'Exode
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dennis York on May 3, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow,this recording is as close to perfection as humanly possible.

I can't find the words to describe the beauty of this music.

Perhaps my tears would suffice.

I could listen to no other recording for the rest of my life and never tire of it...there are treasures to be found within and in between every note.

God Bless Ali Farka Toure and Rest in Peace. You have brought the sounds of Heaven down to us like Prometheus did Fire.

You "Amazonians",do yourselves a huge favor and blessing and make haste to purchase this CD.You won't regret it.

To Andy Kershaw,the BBC Radio 3 DJ who found (rescued) the "Red" LP in a bargain bin in France,I thank you...and God Bless You,too.

I love all sorts of music,but after hearing this and Diabate's kora recordings and Toure's other recordings,a lot of what I used to listen to is now irrelevant. This music is IT!
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