ALI FARKA TOURE & TOUMANI DIABATE In The Heart Of The Moon (World Circuit)
This album has just won a 2006 Grammy for "Best Traditional World Music Album".
There's much wordage justifiably expended in extensive notes and PR essays accompanying this album, but when it comes down to it what you have is simply two master craftsmen sitting together in a room overlooking the Niger river and doing what comes naturally. Beautifully recorded and sounding supremely relaxed, if you've ever heard Toumani Diabate's elegant and tuneful kora playing before you can take his absolute and uncanny mastery of the instrument as read.
The real surprise - given that we grew up with Ali Farka Toure through his hard-edged playing on early records and his generally upfront struttiness on live gigs - is that he can also do mellow. What this recording reveals is a whole other side to his guitar repertoire, as Ali unfolds rolling Manding melodies as a perfect foundation for Diabate to rest on as his dreamy, spiralling virtuosity takes it to another plane. Truly, these largely instrumental sessions were blessed, and engineer Jerry Boys and producer Nick Gold did a fabulous job of capturing them.
I'm not quite sure why it was really necessary to have some later overdubbage by Ry Cooder with a bit whiffly electronica on Mamadou Boutiquier and Hawa Dolo since it neither really adds nor detracts, but if that's what's necessary to get the Mojo reading audience to pay attention, then no harm done. For pay attention they should: this is world class, timeless music and you'll be hearing it in cafés and dinner parties for years to come, mark my words
Ian Anderson(from fRoots 265, July 2005)
World Circuit Records profile
BBC Music review
BBC Radio 3: Ali Farka Touré in Mali
chris , england
unbelievable! truly sublime music- What gifts, I feel God is present and i am not a religious person.
I bought this last summer on holiday in Norway. I wasnt sure what to expect and asked to listen to it in the shop. Within about 10 seconds of the first track I knew that this was extrodinary effortless and magical. I bought and instantly played it to my friends
Muito Bonito(Very beautifull)
Having Ry Cooder and friends didnt hurt this album. I say this because no matter what is happening in the music, you are always trans-fixed on Toumani and Ali's playing. This album is worthy of a grammy. Getting 2 musicians of this calibre togather is a difficult thing. Especially in Africa where the north and southern styles are painfully diffrent and require lifetimes to master. This album will inspire a great social change in africa. Of this, I am certain.
Mick - Swansea
Yeah - superb album, marred only to the unneccessary dubs by Ry Cooder etc. Could agree with this review more