Ali Farka Touré: La Drogue
Ali Farka Touré (guitar, vocals)
Red & Green (Nonesuch 79882 )
Ali Farka Touré (guitar, vocals),
Hammer Sankare (vocals, calabash).
Composed by Ali Farka Touré.
Recorded: Bamako, Mali, no date given (music originally released in 1984; reissue released in 2004)
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
This record was once so rare, it seemed more a rumor than a real disk. BBC broadcaster Andy Kershaw says he "felt as a gambler must feel when he hits the jackpot" after finding a copy of the Red LP in the discount bin of a Paris record store. When he played this track on the radio, fans responded with a desperate enthusiasm, frustrated by their inability to locate the obscure release. This is magical stuff indeed, the musical equivalent of pixie dust. Touré is the master of his personal, sprightly 6/8, a groove that seems to turn in on itself under his hands. His vamps are simple, but delivered with a holistic purity that will enchant you, almost as if you looked up in the sky and saw that the clouds had started forming perfect concentric circles. A few years ago, the Red and Green releases by Ali Farka Touré were finally made available on an easy-to-find reissue. So you have no excuse for missing out on this artist. Even if you only plan to buy a handful of "World Music" CDs for your collection, this one must make your short list.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia