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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished on December 20, 2011 by Peter L. Meserve
Toumani Diabate produces amazing sounds and intriguing melodies with this very simple looking instrument. Read morePublished on February 16, 2009 by CaiS
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
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 morePublished on August 26, 2007 by Nomis
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 morePublished on November 10, 2006 by E. N. Boikanyo
It is very lively music, armonious and easy to listen. It sounds quite modern and light, almost danceable.Published on May 25, 2004