Album: Ali Farka Touré / Toumani Diabaté, Ali and Toumani (Nonesuch)

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The Independent Culture

This was the last recording made by Touré, Mali's greatest-ever bluesman, with his veteran colleague the kora-king Diabaté.

Made over three days in 2005, it opens with a deceptive simplicity, the guitar ruminatively discursive, the lute wandering thoughtfully above. Gradually, the mix gets richer and more complex, but there are no fireworks. The second track is brighter and more celebratory, and the third is as though frozen in time, rapt and contemplative; kora and guitar intertwine like old friends. A lovely monument.