Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop
This is a groundbreaking work establishing the 21-string kora as a solo instrument of great subtlety and range. Toumani Diabate is a virtuoso player and he delves into the classical West African kora repertoire with his ma... more »
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This is a groundbreaking work establishing the 21-string kora as a solo instrument of great subtlety and range. Toumani Diabate is a virtuoso player and he delves into the classical West African kora repertoire with his masterful technique. The result is music that is both absolutely contemporary and totally timeless. The songs include the title track "Kaira," which means peace, and "Jarabi," which translates as passion. Peace and passion are key words pointing to why this album is so successful. Quietly, with dignity and grace, Toumani Diabate brings great beauty into the world, producing wellsprings of flowing music that transport the listener to a place of intense calmness and tranquillity. Kaira is a classic African recording that transcends genre to stand humbly among the best music ever produced. --Jeff Grubb
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New Classic for Strings
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 08/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I studied classical music for quite a few years (as an amateur who enjoys piano and chamber music.) What is the most-played CD in my collection? Chopin's Nocturnes, the Moscow Concert of Horowitz? Nope, it's a CD by Toumani Diabate, New Ancient Strings. I am so addicted to the sound of the Mali harp-lute, the kora, that I also bought this CD "Kaira" or "Peace."This is a much earlier CD, dating back to 1988. It is a solo CD, that is, Diabate plays alone instead of with a friend to provide the traditional rocking bass that support the improvisational treble. Here, on Kaira, Diabate plays both parts treble and bass, so the music is more immediate, but less complex. It's also livelier and has some very folk-sounding tunes. My particular favorite is "Jarabi" , with it's rocking, two-note figure in the base, and a rippling melody.Diabate is the son of the Mali kora "King" --so he is often referred to as, of course, the "Prince" of the kora. His music is complex, jazzlike, traditional and fascinating. If you liked New Ancient Strings and want to hear Diabate on his own, this is an interesting and listenable CD. I played it for someone who was unfamiliar with Diabate and kora music and he was impressed, too."
Beautiful, motivating music
ceapena | Connecticut | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own 2 CDs by Toumani Diabate, Kaira and New Ancient Strings. Perhaps it's because I had Kaira first and fell in love with the kora through this CD, but Kaira is definitely my favorite of the two (don't get me wrong - I love both and actively listen to both). On Kaira Toumani Diabate plays solo kora, and when I realized that this was one person playing one instrument with no overdubbing I was floored. The music has so many layers to it, bass lines, rhythm, melody, that it is amazing to know it comes from only ten fingers (not sure how many of those you actually use to play the kora). It is beautiful, complex, ethereal, and somehow motivating all at once.
When I went to the hospital to give birth I brought 2 CDs with me - this one and Putmayo's Music from the Tea Lands collection (I highly recommend this one too). As I played these 2 CDs over and over (and over and over) during labor the hospital staff kept complimenting the music and the atmosphere that it created. Ultimately I gave birth to the Toumani Diabate CD, with the doctor humming along. I still listen to this CD all the time, after having owned it for years! This is a true testament to any music, that it stands the test of time."
Kaira - Peace
Nick Cartier | Shangri La, Tibet | 07/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This solo album by Toumani Diabate is really a nice piece. However, it has a very different feel from Toumani's other popular recording, New Ancient Strings. Kaira is more earthy and raw sounding, whereas the acoustic used to record N.A.S. allows some echo, which really changes the mood. Kaira has no echo at all. But this does not make it unworthy! The music is excellent, especially the second track, Jarabi, my personal favorite. Overall a very good rootsy kora recording, with very nice pieces."