Search - Ali Farka Toure :: River

River
Ali Farka Toure
River
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

This 1990 recording contains one of the best African blues tunes ever recorded, and a classic Ali Farka Toure moment. As the electric guitar roars in at the opening, punctured by a darting harmonica line, "Heygana" lays ou...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ali Farka Toure
Title: River
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mango
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
Style: Africa
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016253989726, 016253989719, 016253989740, 5019842001729

Synopsis

Amazon.com essential recording
This 1990 recording contains one of the best African blues tunes ever recorded, and a classic Ali Farka Toure moment. As the electric guitar roars in at the opening, punctured by a darting harmonica line, "Heygana" lays out the roots and branches of the blues in its journey from west Africa to the Americas, and more importantly, back again. Sung in the Songhai language, pushed by a vaguely reggae groove and pulled along by a sometimes idiosyncratic percussion line on a calabash, it pretty well epitomizes what Toure is about. The sound is stripped down, with the guitar and voice working a bare minimum groove. The calabash clicks, a thick stringed ngoni adds some punch, and a few tracks feature Toure on the njarka (fiddle). In addition to Rory McLeod's harmonica, there is one piece with The Chieftains' Seane Keane and Kevin Conneff on fiddle and bodhran (Irish goatskin drum), and a marvelous duet with saxophonist Steve Williamson that adds a little sideways R&B. The River is one of Toure's most straightforward recordings made in the decade after the light of his international fame had first shone. --Louis Gibson

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CD Reviews

My personal soundtrack
Susie | Northern California | 12/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I listen to this cd for hours on a continuous loop at work. It's hypnotic yet complex with the African version of the sounds of the American south combined with his haunting voice. (Unfortunately I am a musical illiterate in terms of describing similar genres.) Beautiful twanging tunes and melodies. I bought it on a whim and am a complete devotee."
One of my all time favorites...
Matthieu P. Raillard | Portland, OR USA | 04/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although I have owned this album for almost ten years now, I haven't gotten a chance to write a review for it, partly because it's so good and so much a part of my life that I didn't think about it. For those who don't know him, Ali Farka is a "blues" guitarist from Timbuktu, Mali, who has created one of the most unique sounds in music. One critic once described his guitar stylings as "listening to John Lee Hooker played backwards", and in a way, he was right. The rhythms are different --African, Arabic-- and the melodies unforgettable. Toure sings in a variety of languages; while I can understand the occasional French he uses, the majority are local dialects, adding a wonderful dimension to his music. I put blues in quotations marks because it isn't really blues, but that's the closest music we have to Toure's works. It's happy, melancholy, energetic, sentimental and fervently passionate all at once. This is in my opinion his best album, followed by "Talking Timbuktu" which he recorded with Ry Cooder. Check him out!"