14 February 2013

Malian music

From reader soubriquet's blog Grit in the Gears comes this delightful videoThe musicians are Ali  Farka Toure -
Ali Ibrahim “Farka” Touré (October 31, 1939 – March 7, 2006) was a Malian singer and multi-instrumentalist, and one of the African continent’s most internationally renowned musicians. His music is widely regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues. The belief that the latter is historically derived from the former is reflected in Martin Scorsese’s often quoted characterization of Touré’s tradition as constituting "the DNA of the blues". Touré was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and number 37 on Spin magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
-and Abdoulaye Diabaté.  I don't know what proportion of this piece is traditional Malian.  The language (Tuareg) certainly, the melody and rhythms probably.  But what fascinates me is how the incorporation of modern instrumentation and electronic modulation makes the music more "accessible" to my ear.

Not sure you'll like it?  Give it a click to start up while you scroll further down the blog.


  1. Aimlessly read a blog - scroll - scroll - play-BUY ALL THE MUSIC

  2. I love Ali Farka. Had the great fortune to see him play in a small club years ago when I lived in Montreal - during the jazz festival one year, I believe. Yet another benefit of living in a city with a thriving multicultural life - you learn about some kickass music! ;-)

  3. I have one of his albums. Very pleasant listening.
    What instrument is the other guy playing?

    I took a World Percussion class in college. A Malian song called "Bwana Fanama" was by far the most fun to play. It's a completely different style from this, though. Very energetic.

  4. Thanks. I really enjoyed the music.

  5. The album "In the Heart of the Moon", on a summer morning, echoing through our old stone farmhouse as breakfast cooks on the wood burning range.
    I like.

  6. There's a wealth of music coming from that Sahara and Sub-Sahara region.

    I first heard Ali Farka Touré on a highly recommendable sampler album "Desert Blues", and later on many more albums.

    Toumani Diabaté, with whom he plays on the video, is a master trained in the classical kora tradition. The first song of his stunning album "Mandé Variations" is called "Ali Farka Touré".

    Another remarkable musician is Ballaké Sissoko. There's an album called Diario Mali on which he plays with the great Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi.

  7. Who'd have thought it?

    I wondered where the extra visitors were coming from.
    Can I interest you in some Tuvan throat-singers covering Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'?

    Or the Genghis Blues?

  8. Try out Tinariwen. Any of their albums. Amazing.


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