2. Yer Bounda Fara
6. Penda Yoro
8. Ledi Coumbe
10. Soko Yhinka
11. Gambari Didi
First things first. This is a great album, there is no doubt about that, by a truly great musician which is unfortunately no longer alive. Ali Farka Touré is one of the great bluesmen, on either side of the Atlantic. This album is also among his best.
This being said I have some problems with the way that this album has become the be all and end all of Touré's music. How it is on number 6 of Metacritic etc. I think this happens for two main reasons, the fact that it is a posthumous album which always draws on the heartstrings and that before this most were not aware of him and so it became a revelation. Although it is obviously not a revelation, it only got a bump in marketing because of its associated tragedy.
This being said Touré keeps drawing his amazing parallels between the music of Mali and the Blues in a way that is fresh and beautiful. The sound of the album is intimate and rich as are the instrumentations. Touré is at the top of his game, but the album is just about as good as Talking Timbuktu 12 years earlier.
Mr Touré, who was suffering from cancer and anticipating the inevitable end to his life, wanted to remain in Mali. So a temporary studio was set up on the top floor of the thatched roof Hotel Mandé in Bamako, where the wide windows offered panoramas of life along the Niger River. The unusual studio setup has produced a resonating spaciness and intimacy in the sound quality of Mr. Toure's final album.
"All you can see is river and grasslands and villages and people in pirogues and canoes and boats," Nick Gold said in a recent interview. "It's just beautiful."