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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Savane

Ali Farka Touré

2006

Buy At Rough Trade
Savane
Album Summary

Savane is the final solo album by Malian musician Ali Farka Touré. It is the third and final part of the Hôtel Mandé Sessions, featuring Touré and Toumani Diabaté, recorded by World Circuit head Nick Gold. The album was released posthumously by World Circuit on 17 July 2006, more than four months after Touré's death. The recording sessions at Hôtel Mandé in Bamako took place from June to July 2004. Touré, suffering from cancer, had wanted to remain in Mali, so a temporary studio was set up on the top floor of the hotel. Touré approved the final master of Savane just weeks before his death in March 2006. He said of the album: "I know this is my best album ever. It has the most power and is the most different."Savane features a number of non-African blues musicians, such as Little George Sueref, Pee Wee Ellis, and also Touré's protégé since the age of 13, Afel Bocoum. It was released to high critical acclaim, earning a 94 on Metacritic. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.In 2009. It was awarded a gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association which indicated sales of at least 100,000 copies throughout Europe.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

10168
Genres
Blues
World

Reviews

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Thu Oct 07 2021
3

This is what I'd put on in the background of a neighborhood party to give people the impression I'm deep and interesting. Some will find it annoying and be reminded of the human torture scene from Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom. Those are the people who leave early and giveaway the fact they're not cut out for the Swingers Lifestyle. Everyone else grabs a random set of keys from the petri dish and goes home with a delightful stranger.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

This is really interesting, partly because I can’t quite figure out what it is. There are times I think I hear Arabic, and then times when I think I hear French. And it sounds mostly Arabic, but then sometimes it doesn’t. It’s so interesting.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
3

This album creates a very specific ambience. It's a humid summer night in the south, I'm on an airboat en route to a Louisiana gumbo party, just cruising through the bayou. I wanna get there while the cornbread is still warm, but I'm also not rushing. I've never done any of those things in my life, but if I close my eyes while I listen to this album I feel like I might have.

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Mon Oct 26 2020
5

African (Malian to be specific) blues is... well, it's a niche sound. I've rubbed up against it in the form of the artist Bombino before but this is a whole different level of unique. It... it FEELS like the blues. But, at the same time, it feels distinctly african. There are harminicas, banjos, and guitars... but also hand drums and some sort of unique stringed instrument (Zither? Kora? Not sure.) mixed in. It all combines into a wild and entrancing musical experience. Ali's voice is pure blues. Even though I can't understand most of what he's saying (though some of the album is in french, thankfully), his emotion comes right through the language barrier untarnished. Apparently, this album was released posthumously and, while I'm glad the world has this album, it's a crying shame that we lost this talent because the album is just really really good.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

This album was a really cool change of pace. It's sound is both familiar and novel at the same time. I wouldn't have envisioned the mixture of American blues and African music to be so seamless, but this feels like it was meant to be. The intricacy of the guitar adds a lot to this album 5/5

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Wed Nov 01 2023
2

This is an album that I would have never discovered had it not been for this app. Not my cup of tea, but I’m grateful to have experienced it.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
1

I just don’t like many of these noises. Never liked harmonics, the guitar is very “twangy” and I find his nasally vocals unpleasant. Turned this off half way through.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

So good!!! Absolutely smooth, guitar is just another vocals and it blends beautifully with the music. Distinctly African and also distinctly Blues. Fantastic!

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

Around 30 years ago, I was working with a client that had a gold project in Mali. I was intrigued with the country and sought out some local music. This is how I found Ali Farka Toure and his splendid guitar licks. He was a legend and the artist who attracted me to West African music. His album with Ry Cooder's in the mid 90s brought him well deserved exposure in North America. After this, he retreated to Timbuktu to revert to playing weddings and spend his "fortune" fixing sewers near his home town. What a man. His final musical offering is as good as they get. RIP

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Mon May 03 2021
4

I say this is in the nicest way possible: this sounds like a CD my parents would randomly own in the early 2000s that they'd play for us while on road trips because of its somewhat jazzy and folky stylings remind them of Celtic music they enjoyed, and it would become a part of my subconscious moving forward without me ever knowing what it was. Really good!

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

When one traces the origins of their meal, they discover that even a simple pasta has traveled extensively; the tomatoes are from Mexico, the wheat from Ukraine, the eggs from New England, and the onions from Quebec. This album, too, has such strong roots in so many different communities. It is a deliciously simple dish with ingredients from West Africa, South Africa, France, USA, and the Arabian Gulf. It isn't the kind of dish that you discover, beg your friend for the recipe, and put into your regular rotation of meals at home. And when you prep it, it takes you to all those different moments with your friends across so many different places.

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Sun Nov 19 2023
2

The instruments mesh together well, creating a distinctive, warm, laid-back atmosphere. For such an unfamiliar musical style, I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Now for the negatives. The songs are unadventurous and painstakingly repetitive. This makes the album really dull for close listening after the first 30 seconds or so of each track, and even a little grating in the lengthier ones. Some people might describe the songs as "chill, doin' their own thang" but I think it's very important that the musicians interact with and entertain the listener as much as possible. In my eyes, Toure's music does not accomplish this.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

I sincerely wish I could play guitar as well as Ali. A fantastic album and introduction to African blues/guitar. The layering of instruments is enchanting, and everything from melody to accompaniment feels absolutely fresh and interesting.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

This was surprisingly delicious. The songs didn't really go anywhere, but they didn't really need to. They just chilled out and did their thing; I like that.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
1

Could not get into the music. African Blues is one of those genres that I cannot enjoy, even if it is my a famous artist or groundbreaking work.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
1

Is this supposed to be good just because it uses some less familiar rhythms and it is sung in a language we don't understand? It just plain isn't very good at all. The rhythms don't keep to their own time structures, the instrumentation doesn't keep to the rhythms and the vocals are lacking in inspiration and emotion. For supposedly the king of the desert blues this is very flat indeed. The album was released posthumously, and it may be that Touré's illness had an impact on the quality of the music, but if this is the case then surely some other, earlier work should be in the 1001, not this. Songhoy Blues is far superior.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
1

Knowing he was going to die after making his final album, I'm not going to disrespect. Thought is was interesting, but can't say this is something I would listen to or revisit. Thanks for your contribution and the unique listening experience. It did get me thinking though. What if Stacey's Mom was really Jessie's Girl and her phone number was 8675309? Think about it.........

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Thu Mar 28 2024
1

Hated this. I literally had a splitting headache after the first track.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

This has a feeling of soul. Passes lingual barriers, and just damn good to jam to.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Would be nice to have on out the back of the new Toowong pool hall while smoking a shisha but otherwise probably wouldn’t re-listen to be honest. Cool sounds though.

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Tue May 18 2021
5

I really enjoyed this, very fun to drive around to. It’s not something I would have listened to before but I can actually see myself listening to it again should I be in the mood. So for an album I’ve never listened to in a style I don’t usually consider I’m gonna give the 5 star

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Thu Nov 04 2021
5

I loved it that I listened to the album again.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

Una das mejores descobertas deste guía

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Another one I’d listen to again. Love the desert blues sound from beginning to end, with nice variation in mood throughout. Amazing voice and arrangements too.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

Lovely - blues and jazz with a Malian twist - warm and enchanting from end to end.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Sensational guitarist, hypnotic rhythms and really interesting musically - time signatures, scales and use of intervals entirely different to western ears, but still recognisably the blues - Malian style. I love this.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
5

Amazing album. Great world music. Great instrumentals. Awesome find.

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Thu Jan 05 2023
5

Only on the first song and I'm so intrigued. This just has such a raw feel.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
5

What an absolutely fascinating record and one that conjures up so many different influences and emotions. The record meanders along at its own pace, going wherever it wants and I really respect that. I feel bad that it had never even occurred to me that kind of blues fusion could exist but it doesn't just stop there its got heavy ska and reggae influences displayed and Arabic style scales are heavily used in parts. Much drone as well drone good, me likey. Very evocative, it takes me straight back to time spent in Uganda, sitting on a bus driving long hours through the colorful streets of Kampala. I adore this album and have saved it straight away for future listens. 5/5

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Sun Feb 26 2023
5

The title track sounds like the riff from Child in Time, but on a Reggae beat! Penda Yoro is a blues jam, with a polyrhthm. Totally danceable. This was a very pleasant surprise.

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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

Great listening, really like this!

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Sun May 14 2023
5

This one completely dodges the complaints leveled at my other African album (the Koffi Olomide one). It not only feels real, but it’s interesting and enjoyable. 4 stars, but one added just because I felt nice today (it’s because of my new dog).

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Wed May 17 2023
5

I love love love desert blues, or tishoumaren, or whatever you want to call it, and Ali Farka Touré is the daddy. It's hypnotic, exotic, but familiar at the same time. You can easily let it blend into a wonderful background wash, but it also repays close attention, which is a quality I highly value in music. Fave track - "Yer Bounda Fara" maybe? It's not really about individual tracks with this one...

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Wed May 17 2023
5

Spectacular. Quintessential West African Blues.

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Sun Jul 02 2023
5

I know I'm a stereotype of myself, but I fucking loved this. 4 tracks in and I was already sad at how quickly it was going by. I never wanted it to end! Cool rock attitudes with some traditional elements and an overall catchy swagger.

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Thu Aug 31 2023
5

wow. was completely unfamiliar with this album and artist but it’s really excellent. going to listen to this a lot in the future

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Thu Aug 31 2023
5

I’ve always loved this album. Glad to see it included on this list. It’s a great album to throw on and vibe with. It’s so effortlessly cool.

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Sun Sep 10 2023
5

This might be one of my first exposures to Desert Blues music in any real depth. I know after hearing this though, I will absolutely seek out a physical release of this album and explore this genre. It's evocative, it's hypnotic, it's enchanting, it's very beautiful. It brought an amazing and immediately intriguing style of North and West African music to my attention, bringing forth a general feeling comparable to Western Soul and Blues, but with Malian flair. It kept me hooked for the entire time, seeming to be good music for driving, working, or just having in the background to vibe with. It's fair to say that I'm hooked on this album upon the first listen. Thanks for introducing a whole genre to me, Generator! Favourite: Yer Bounda Fara

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Fri Sep 29 2023
5

This ruled. I had another of his albums earlier and did not like it nearly as much. This album was haunting and hypnotic.

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

not as good as with ry cooder but man this guy just loves to have a jam

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Rhythmic, full bodied, rich. A truly new genre for me and a fun listening experience

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Something special here. Transports you to another place, these desert blues, and this effortless, masterful guitar playing is exemplary. What a talent and what a recording - captures the sound and the mood perfectly.

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

The wiki says this is African Blues so that's slightly different than what I usually expect from this project. At first, I was worried this was going to be something you'd hear on NPR late at night. #1 - I couldn't make out a word the gentleman was saying, and the instrumentals are eclectic and all over the place and work together in parts. This is going to be a very unique album to say the least. #2 - Okay, this is starting to sound more like blues that I would expect. This one feels a lot more structured and put together. It flows really well even if it sounds somber and mournful. #3 - I didn't know African Blues was a genre, but if you had to have me point to a song that would be most similar to it, it would be this one. Good music picking and instrumentals, lovely background vocals. ★ #4 - It starts with an almost latin american style guitar picking and that continues. The song is very mellow and relaxing without being tiring. #5 - Good beat, I found myself following along. Again, good mix of instrumentals and vocals. #6 - Another bluesy song. Great all around. Mr. Toure knows how to put in background vocals as well as create this kind of music. I haven't heard this good of guitar picking in a while. #7 - To me, it sounds like this would be sung while doing work (something like The Song of the Volga Boatmen, for example). It's good. #8 - First one of the album where I felt this one was alright. Definitely not my favorite of the album. #9 - Short and sweet with parts that sound frenzied (could be a good track to run to or if something hectic/fastpaced was happening a movie). Good bass. #10 - Simple to follow along with. Found myself humming the song after the album was over. ★ #11 - Instrumentals here were good, enjoyed the thumping. Compared to previous tracks, I'm not entirely sure if the vocals they went with worked well. #12 - A good, quality song. Not much more to say. #13 - Really not much more to say about this album. If you got this point, you know what to expect. A good track to send us off. While I don't speak the language of Ali Farka Touré, there's clear passion to his craft in these songs. After some of the albums I've been getting, this has been a very pleasant surprise; I've never heard of him. I feel like this album is what the 1001 album book should showcase more of (granted I'm only day 60 of 1001 so we'll see). So far, this is one where I was confident in giving a five only a few songs in.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Outstanding. This will go in my frequently listened list. Unique, original, great musician ship, great songs. Loved it!

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

Very Interesting..something I would hear on NPR's Echos

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Tue Nov 21 2023
5

So light and yet it has so much substance. Like Tom Waits without the gravelly gruffness. I could honestly listen to this forever.

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Fri Nov 24 2023
5

I have no idea what he's saying and it doesn't even matter. The music and vibes transcend the need for understanding the lyrics. You can feel the soul in every single note being played here. Just some really solid blues with some very interesting instrumentation. Can't wait to listen to this again. Standout Tracks: Erdi, Savane, N'jarou

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Wed Dec 13 2023
5

Ooh I’m looking forward to this. While I don’t know the album, I do know the artist. I listened to a couple of his other albums on repeat during the pandemic lockdowns. Toure’s voice and blend of instruments are so soothing. One instrument in particular - I think it’s the kora? - produces a beautiful bluesy sound that I adore. In the end, this album does not disappoint.

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Fri Dec 15 2023
5

Not my usual but was very enjoyable.

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Fri Dec 29 2023
5

I recognize his last name because Khruangbin did an album with his son recently. Check it out if you like this.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
5

mali albumi.. mikrotonaalinen avant-garde teos... . ei, ei voi termejä käyttää. MUSIIKKI ON MUSIIKKIA..tämä koskettaa.. häpelöi, hyväilee.. tarvi teknistä soopaa kerskailla.. kitaratyöskentely... ei kitaran stringejä näppäile, vaan sydämen...heartstrings being played... holey moley... aavikkoblues, bamako style... varo ettei hiekkaa mene silmiin heh savane

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Thu Feb 08 2024
5

Absolutely classic blues with a zing!

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

I don't understand any of the words that Toure sang... and I don't care. This album is fantastic. Blues are universal, and instruments are their own voice that transcends language. I'm not sure I could pick out a single track to add to my favorites list just yet, but the whole album can go into rotation, especially as general background music for my life. Out of all the 'modern' (ie since 2000) albums, this is my favorite. I can and will recommend this album to people without hesitation.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
5

Awesome vibes, can't wait for a summer road trip playing this.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
5

Stuff like this really motivates me to keep with the list. This was incredibly good, and something I never would have known existed otherwise. The blues with African and Arabic sounds comes together in a way I didn't expect.

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

A true East meets West situation. Like if Robert Johnson sold his soul to Allah and not the devil. Nice blues instrumentation with a middle-eastern flair.

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

Great Album! Love, Love, Love.

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Sat Mar 23 2024
5

Every now and then, this list completely redeems itself and produces an excellent album by an artist that I had never heard before. This is one of those times. 5/5

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Thu Sep 03 2020
4

Prefer the grooviest parts. Very good.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

If this album had English lyrics, it would be an easy 5-star. Maybe a strange reason to penalize it, but I really wanted to understand what was being sung.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

i mean i wouldnt play it on my own but its pretty nice musically

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

I like it. Random blues world music vibe

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Familiarity: 0/10 Notes: I have no idea what he was singing about, but man I loved in. African Folk, instruments playing different rhythms, soothe sounds, Ali Farka Touré transcends his language, I thoroughly enjoyed the album throughout. Real Rating 7/10

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Mon Apr 12 2021
4

Strong. I need to explore his music a lot more.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Super unique feel to his music. It seems to be all tuned the same way with open strings. Love his voice although I couldn’t tell you what he’s saying. Makes me think of cold night in the desert

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Very nice blues album. Good quality songs.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

African folk blues.. Easy listen

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Very cool desert blues, moody

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Though the language gap was limiting, the music was really cool. I could see myself listening to this again.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

Really liked this. Amazing guitar player

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

Foreign yet familiar. Chill but lively. Music imitating life, or is it the other way around?

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Tue May 25 2021
4

Great Album, i never heard African Blues, it's very cool

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Very good alternative to the US / England concept of the blues. I also hear some jazz and middle eastern music in here. Similar to the Jimmy Page / Robert Plant Led Zeppelin Unplugged album.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

Really enjoyed this, especially the first couple of songs and the title song. Will definitely listen to again (in fact, I listened to it again immediately), but I foresee I won't always be in the mood for it.

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Sat Jul 24 2021
4

There's a characteristic riff/line/warmup/intro in desert blues. It's not exactly a scale, so my mind makes a weak connection to ragas. This record has it in several places. Sometimes, a tune emerges from that stem, but more often the rest of the track crashes down in a percussive, deconstructed cascade. Those songs are the weirdest blues songs I've ever heard. Their coherence in incoherence is an order of magnitude stranger than any set of effects or recording techniques. Nothing here is particularly abstract, though: There is always the sense and sound of the instrument in the recording, which makes the crashing seem like that of blocks of wood. All that is just what caught my ear on the first listen. The songs that are different are also physical, but are far less formally strange. Energy crackles, but seemingly from behind a facade.

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Sun Aug 22 2021
4

Cool album, lots of interesting guitar Parts and lots of cool sounds

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

3.5/5. Different and good. I like the instrumentals throughout the album.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
4

What a delight this was, excelent.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

No way! I read Matthew Mcconaughey biography recently and he mentioned this guy as his favourite artist. I listened and got hooked, can't believe he's on top 1001 albums! Buzzin, real cool, proper unique and different to anything I've ever listened to, like African meets American Western, Bluesy. Sick music for late night with a whiskey 🙏 4/5

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Mon Sep 06 2021
4

Auch bei diesem Machwerk hatte ich vorher schlimmste Befürchtungen. Die sich nicht im geringsten bewahrheitet haben. Das Genre African Blues war mir gänzlich unbekannt. Diese Platte ist sehr geil. Der Vergleich mit John Lee Hooker drängt sich bei Touré sehr leicht auf, aber es gibt schlimmeres, als nach Hooker zu klingen.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

Such a cool and interesting listen!

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Never should language be a barrier to enjoying music. This album is fun and will make ya wanna dance

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Fri Oct 29 2021
4

Pretty good. Very bluesy with a heavy African vibe.

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