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Vieux Farka Toure|Ali

Ali

Vieux Farka Touré & Khruangbin

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Saharan guitar players have been injecting fresh energy into the blues, a genre that desperately needs it.  One of its pioneers, and best players, was Malian Ali Farka Touré. Although he began recording in the '70 and released a number of important albums in the '80s, it wasn't until 1994's Talking Timbuktu album with American guitarist Ry Cooder that he broke through in the United States. Touré's son Vieux, also a guitar player, has now followed his father, who died at age 66 in 2006, into a collaboration with an American musical force—the increasingly respected multicultural groove trio from Texas with the Thai name, Khruangbin. 


Recorded by Steve Christensen at Terminal C in Houston, Texas, the key sonic feature is reverb, and lots of it—on the vocals, the percussion and especially on Touré's guitar. With some variation, everything echoes across the soundstage in a style that could divide listeners. While the opener "Savanne" has a reggae beat, the second track establishes the template of Touré's nimble, very detailed style alongside the trio's trademark easy groove ways. 


Bassist Laura Lee Ochoa sets the pace, DJ Johnson's drums are solid and Mark Speer's guitar adds the spicy accents. Over that rock-solid bed, Touré solos and sings in a number of different languages including Peul, Bambara and French. The lyrics here are African parables and folk songs, the province of griots, keepers of oral history in West Africa. "Diarabi" is a poor man's love lament: "What is wrong, my love?/ It is you that I love?/ Your mother has told you not to marry me/ Because I have nothing/ But I love you." Just as a certain sameness to both the songs and the tempos have contributed to making the blues an artistic dead end, Touré's consistent tone, busy style and wandering, almost raga-like melodic sense become predictable here. But a taste of much needed variety comes with "Mahine Me" which is almost zydeco thanks to Ruben Moreno on accordion and DJ Johnson on washboard. Sung in Songhai, this short interlude has only two lines: "You have to know how to hold your tongue/ You have to know how to hold your foot." At its conclusion Touré can be heard asking "C'est bon?" The answer is undoubtedly yes! Ali is indeed good but the desert blues now needs more varied songwriting and experiments with styles if it is to further grow and prosper. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Ali

Vieux Farka Toure

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1
Savanne
00:05:16

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

2
Lobbo
00:04:34

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

3
Diarabi
00:05:01

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

4
Tongo Barra
00:05:33

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

5
Tamalla
00:05:55

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

6
Mahine Me
00:02:40

Ruben Moreno, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

7
Ali Hala Abada
00:05:02

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

8
Alakarra
00:02:59

Eric Herman, Producer - Vieux Farka Touré, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mark Speer, AssociatedPerformer - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Boureima Touré, Arranger - Khruangbin, Producer, Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Christensen, Producer - Laura Lee Ochoa, AssociatedPerformer - Donald "DJ" Johnson Jr., AssociatedPerformer

2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd 2022 Dead Oceans, in association with Night Time Stories, Ltd

Album Description

Saharan guitar players have been injecting fresh energy into the blues, a genre that desperately needs it.  One of its pioneers, and best players, was Malian Ali Farka Touré. Although he began recording in the '70 and released a number of important albums in the '80s, it wasn't until 1994's Talking Timbuktu album with American guitarist Ry Cooder that he broke through in the United States. Touré's son Vieux, also a guitar player, has now followed his father, who died at age 66 in 2006, into a collaboration with an American musical force—the increasingly respected multicultural groove trio from Texas with the Thai name, Khruangbin. 


Recorded by Steve Christensen at Terminal C in Houston, Texas, the key sonic feature is reverb, and lots of it—on the vocals, the percussion and especially on Touré's guitar. With some variation, everything echoes across the soundstage in a style that could divide listeners. While the opener "Savanne" has a reggae beat, the second track establishes the template of Touré's nimble, very detailed style alongside the trio's trademark easy groove ways. 


Bassist Laura Lee Ochoa sets the pace, DJ Johnson's drums are solid and Mark Speer's guitar adds the spicy accents. Over that rock-solid bed, Touré solos and sings in a number of different languages including Peul, Bambara and French. The lyrics here are African parables and folk songs, the province of griots, keepers of oral history in West Africa. "Diarabi" is a poor man's love lament: "What is wrong, my love?/ It is you that I love?/ Your mother has told you not to marry me/ Because I have nothing/ But I love you." Just as a certain sameness to both the songs and the tempos have contributed to making the blues an artistic dead end, Touré's consistent tone, busy style and wandering, almost raga-like melodic sense become predictable here. But a taste of much needed variety comes with "Mahine Me" which is almost zydeco thanks to Ruben Moreno on accordion and DJ Johnson on washboard. Sung in Songhai, this short interlude has only two lines: "You have to know how to hold your tongue/ You have to know how to hold your foot." At its conclusion Touré can be heard asking "C'est bon?" The answer is undoubtedly yes! Ali is indeed good but the desert blues now needs more varied songwriting and experiments with styles if it is to further grow and prosper. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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