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Fondo

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fondo is a solid album that firmly establishes Vieux Farka Toure's place in a long list of world class Malian musicians. His style is typically Malian and like many of his counterparts, he successfully manages, so seamlessly, to fuse the traditional and modern: From the deep blues of Fafa to the achingly beautiful track Paradise, on which he plays a respectful delicate accompaniment to the legendary Kora of Toumani Diabate. Farka Toure's soft vocals compliment the guitar-led blues style. The legacy of modern blues can be heard in his music and his father's before him. A sound of cultural and historical significance, that sense of history and legacy understandably runs throughout this album. With a reputation in his country for being an amazing live performer, Farka Toure has delivered as an artist in his own right. Equally though, a sense of careful respect for his heritage underpins the entire album. Ali Farka Toure's tutelage can be clearly heard and it's a beautifully touching aspect of what is one of the finest albums to come out of Africa this year.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Six Degrees
  • ASIN: B001W63DP0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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