- Audio CD (June 15, 1993)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Hannibal / Rykodisc
- ASIN: B000000628
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,702 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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The source of the Niger River? The source of the blues? Ali Farka Toure is one of the great African guitarists--one who has experimented in the most subtle of ways, seeking inspiration but never creating fusions with other popular music styles. The Source is more roots and less fronds than his Ry Cooder recording Talking Timbuktu; this earlier recording did find him working with Taj Mahal and harmonica player Rory McLeod, but mostly this is a recording with his amazing band, calabash players Amadou Sisse and Hamma Sankare and conga player Oumar Toure, plus a chorus of singers. The emphasis is on the guitar of Toure and the source of the music, the soil of Mali itself. --Louis Gibson
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Top Customer Reviews
My favorite song "Hawa Dolo" is a haunting almost lullaby-like work without chorus or other accompaniment. I don't know what the song is about but it makes my heart stop.
But what does it sound like? Robert Johnson of the Niger? Son House of the Sahel? The guitar playing is clear, penetrating and soulful, the accompaniment is spare, clean and rythmic and the singing is haunting and sublime. In addition to being a great guitarist, Ali Farka is a superb singer. Unless you speak Bambara, you can't understand it, apart from the occasional French bits, but that hardly matters. When you listen to Maria Callas singing La Boheme, you can't understand the words, but the meaning and the feeling come through loud and clear. Ali Farka's singing has the same effect.
Buy this record!
Of Toure's "electric" discs in wide release, I think this is the most satisfying listen from start to finish, without the production overpowering the music, which is compelling even unaccompanied (such as on Radio Mali.)
Talking Timbuktu achieved its goal of making Toure a star in the west, but his other albums, which are not "crossover" records, are far more rewarding...
There are guitarists aplenty in this world. There are virtuoso musicians from Africa aplenty as well, but none have captured the soul of his culrure in a world in which we can traverse the entire globe in just over a day like Mr. Toure. There have been few musicians like Ali Farka Toure. One listen to his signatire, twanging picking of the strings of his guitar and you will forever know him as soon as you hear him.
This album, The Source, is a wonderful collection of songs from his repertoire and takes the listener through an absolute garden of musical fragrances, all nurtured by the deep, rich soil of the history of the African peoples. Al of this is then filtered through the genius of one of the world's premiere musicians.
Monsieur Toure, who left us in March of 2006 wasn't the best or flashiest guitarists to have his music published, but he was alsways one of the most sincere. His style is distinctive. The world lost something special when he died, and I think this album shows his gifts of story telling and musical awareness in a most excellent fashion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Aside from that, this business of being the 'source of the blues' is a lie perpetrated...Read more