Vieux Farka Touré Fondo Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Firmly establishes Toure’s place in a long list of world class Malian musicians.

Johnny Lais 2009

It was inevitably going to be difficult for Vieux Farka Toure to step out from under the shadow of his father, the late, great Ali Farka Toure, one of the most acclaimed African musicians of all time. However, in spite of this, Vieux has, with Fondo, produced perhaps his finest work to date. Reminiscent of his father’s style with characteristic sharp licks and phrasing, the young Vieux has developed whilst staying true to his heritage.

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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