Album: Vieux Farka Toure, The Secret (Six Degrees)

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The Independent Culture

Guitarist Vieux Farka Touré here seeks to extend his Malian musical heritage beyond the country's borders, by collaborating with American musicians on several tracks – though never obscuring the native essence of his style.

Former Miles Davis sideman John Scofield adds his piercing jazz guitar to "Gido", and Soulive bandleader Eric Krasno does likewise to "Lakkal". That track, the only one recorded in America, veers furthest from Touré's roots towards jazz-funk, but elsewhere the focus is firmly on his trademark cyclical guitar motifs, to the fore on the urgent, driving grooves of tracks such as "Sokosondou" and "Borei". The most successful collaboration here is "Aigna", where Derek Trucks's waspish slide guitar blends with Touré's arpeggios to create a strangely Indian-flavoured piece.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Sokosondou; Aigna; The Secret; Borei