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River


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Audio CD, July 9, 1991
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$60.00 $11.95
Vinyl, July 1, 1991
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mango Records
  • ASIN: B000003QKH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ai Bine
2. Kenouna
3. Toungere
4. Heygana
5. Jungou
6. Goydiotodam
7. Lobo
8. Tamala
9. Boyrei
10. Tangambara
11. Instrumental

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This 1990 recording contains one of the best African blues tunes ever recorded, and a classic Ali Farka Toure moment. As the electric guitar roars in at the opening, punctured by a darting harmonica line, "Heygana" lays out the roots and branches of the blues in its journey from west Africa to the Americas, and more importantly, back again. Sung in the Songhai language, pushed by a vaguely reggae groove and pulled along by a sometimes idiosyncratic percussion line on a calabash, it pretty well epitomizes what Toure is about. The sound is stripped down, with the guitar and voice working a bare minimum groove. The calabash clicks, a thick stringed ngoni adds some punch, and a few tracks feature Toure on the njarka (fiddle). In addition to Rory McLeod's harmonica, there is one piece with The Chieftains' Seane Keane and Kevin Conneff on fiddle and bodhran (Irish goatskin drum), and a marvelous duet with saxophonist Steve Williamson that adds a little sideways R&B. The River is one of Toure's most straightforward recordings made in the decade after the light of his international fame had first shone. --Louis Gibson

Customer Reviews

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See all 5 customer reviews
I feel it's a stand alone Classic in world music.
Scaber
This is in my opinion his best album, followed by "Talking Timbuktu" which he recorded with Ry Cooder.
Matthieu P. Raillard
It's now one of my go-to albums for just relaxing with the beat.
Sires

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Susie on December 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I listen to this cd for hours on a continuous loop at work. It's hypnotic yet complex with the African version of the sounds of the American south combined with his haunting voice. (Unfortunately I am a musical illiterate in terms of describing similar genres.) Beautiful twanging tunes and melodies. I bought it on a whim and am a complete devotee.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthieu P. Raillard VINE VOICE on April 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Although I have owned this album for almost ten years now, I haven't gotten a chance to write a review for it, partly because it's so good and so much a part of my life that I didn't think about it. For those who don't know him, Ali Farka is a "blues" guitarist from Timbuktu, Mali, who has created one of the most unique sounds in music. One critic once described his guitar stylings as "listening to John Lee Hooker played backwards", and in a way, he was right. The rhythms are different --African, Arabic-- and the melodies unforgettable. Toure sings in a variety of languages; while I can understand the occasional French he uses, the majority are local dialects, adding a wonderful dimension to his music. I put blues in quotations marks because it isn't really blues, but that's the closest music we have to Toure's works. It's happy, melancholy, energetic, sentimental and fervently passionate all at once. This is in my opinion his best album, followed by "Talking Timbuktu" which he recorded with Ry Cooder. Check him out!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sires on December 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I first heard Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder onTalking Timbuktu. By the time I started looking for more work by Toure he was gone (2006). What a loss to us all.

This CD I discovered entirely by accident. It's now one of my go-to albums for just relaxing with the beat.

I also mixed my rip of this album with Highlander's Farewell by Fraser and Haas and the tracks complement one another very well.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Ali Farka Toure for 20 years. He sings in his native Malian language, which to me adds another instrument to the mix. His music is definitely "the blues," earthy, swingy, the melodies are lovely. This is good meditation music, too. I find it to be very calming. The album notes have English translations, and occasionally there are some French lyrics as well.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scaber on March 5, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I Agree with the above reviews and totally LOVE this album. I feel it's a stand alone Classic in world music. I just love the mood this album gives as the soul is enriched. I can't recommend it enough.
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