Ali & Toumani is the second collection of songs wrought out of the amazing duo of Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté; two Malian masters of the string. Diabaté is best known for his work with a harp type instrument called the kora and the ability to record whole albums live, and in one take. Touré is one of the African continent’s most internationally known musicians; his style of guitar playing is reminiscent of our countries’ Blues. Unfortunately this will be the last collection. Ali Farka Touré passed at age 66 from bone cancer in 2006. The recordings for this album were made over three afternoons in London’s Livingston Studios in 2005 (Touré’s last recorded album).
“It wasn’t about covering old songs just because there weren’t any new ones, no not at all,’ said Diabaté, continuing: ‘It was about revealing all the different possibilities once again… I believe this album to be stronger and wiser, better than ‘In the Heart of the Moon.’ Simultaneously reverent and informal, this album brings together the divergent folk and classical traditions from Northern and Southern Mali, creating a loving homage to the West African nation that is thoroughly appropriate for the late Touré’s last recording. In the words of Diabaté, ‘what we are doing is very important because we are both, above all, Malians. It’s about love, sincerity, [and] solidarity.”
Get a couple tracks from the upcoming release and watch a recording session with the two greats, down below.