Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté - Ali And Toumani

Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté - Ali And Toumani

Verdict: 5/5

World Circuit





Written By

Dragos Rusu


February 9, 2014

This is the last recording Ali Farka Toure did, until his sadly death one year after, in March 2006. The album assembles the spirit of two great musicians and creates a beautiful story that needs to be heard by everyone. This is one of those albums you must listen in your lifetime, desirable before you die.

Ali Farka is a renowned musician in the entire world and one of the greatest ambassadors of Malian music, with a strong influence from its North American cousin, the blues. With a spawning music career consisting in more than ten albums, Ali Farka also acted as a peacemaker in the Tuareg rebellions of the mid 90s. He was mayor of his hometown Niafunké (in Northern Mali, on the edge of the Sahara) and spent his own money grading the roads, putting in sewer canals and fuelling a generator that provided the impoverished town with electricity.

Together with Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté (the son of Sidiki Diabaté), Ali Farka made these recordings in the Livingston Studios from London, during three days of August. Ali and Toumani is the follow-up to the Grammy Award-Winning album, 'In The Heart Of The Moon'. Every song from the LP creates beautiful sound landscapes, conducting the listener through the tangled and celestial world of kora, the 21-string bridge-harp, a traditional instrument used widely in West Africa.

Starting with Ruby, the album shows a very intimate world, with stunning and fragile chords, so gentle and elegantly played by these two real musical heroes. Even though I listened dozens of times already the songs 56, Warbi, Kala Djula, I can’t choose them as the best songs from this album, because they are not. This album is a genuine music masterpiece in all its 11 songs shape. It is an inspiring music experience, which leads us to the splendid and enchanting universe that Ali and Toumani created.

This is a very special record, not only because I got it as a gift, but also because this is one of the most beautiful records in my tiny collection. Every track is so meaningful, expressing various feelings, from sadness to euphoria and from melancholia to romance. As the remarkable sounds of guitar and kora start to float, every song feels like a huge spoon of honey in the mouth. It heals the souls, but it also demands its’ attention.

This World Circuit release is not something that you listen fugitive, superficial, just like this, puff, and later you forget about it. No. I’m positive this is one of those albums which have this incredible power upon the listener’s ears. Once in a while, you most likely return to it and get touched and re-absorbed by its gentle harmonies.

I take the risks and rate the album 5 starts out of 5, and if my estimations were right, please send me a dollar.


A1. Ruby
A2. Sabu Yerkoy
A3. Bé Mankan
B1. Doudou
B2. Warbé
B3. Kenouna (Bonus Track)
C1. Samba Geladio
C2. Sina Mory
C3. 56
C4. Fantasy
D1. Machengoidi
D2. Kana Kassy (Bonus Track)
D3. Kala Djula

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