BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations (World Circuit/Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Toumani Diabate: El Nabiyouna
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Toumani Diabate: The Mande Variations (World Circuit/Elite)

Here's one of the best world music albums of the year: a rare solo outing by the Malian kora master Toumani Diabate who learned from the late guitarist Ali Farka Toure also from his homeland (there is a track here dedicated to Farka Toure with whom he performed on the wonderful In the Heart of the Moon album).

Like his mentor, Diabate has been outward looking and has collaborated with Damon Alban, jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd and bluesman Taj Mahal, appeared on Bjork's most recent album, and has worked with a flamenco group as well as his own Symmetric Orchestra.

But for these often improvised sessions he sat down to play solo kora (a 21-stringed instrument) on pieces which are mostly introspective -- although on Kaounding Cissoko he has a spring in his step.

Here is masterclass in musicianship -- is he the Ravi Shankar of the kora? -- and a simple, delightful and powerfully moving album. 

Share It

Your Comments

Richard Parrish - Jun 9, 2009

Yes, it is a fabulous album and it was fantasic to see him perform and talk in a workshop at WOMAD Taranaki 2 years ago. If you like this album then I suggest you try the brilliant duet album he did with Ballake Sissoko - New Ancient Strings 1999 and Jarabi 2001.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Dayme Arocena

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Dayme Arocena

Singer, composer, arranger and bandleader, DaymĂ© Arocena was recently dubbed by The Guardian as “Cuba’s finest vocalist”. The young Afro-Cuban artist, mentored... > Read more

Various Artists: Anywhere on the Road (Warners)

Various Artists: Anywhere on the Road (Warners)

As many Elsewhere readers would be aware, the late English radio DJ Charlie Gillett hosted important weekly radio shows over the decades which pulled music from around the planet: World Music from... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . G.G. ALLIN: Pottymouth not potty-trained

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . G.G. ALLIN: Pottymouth not potty-trained

We might as well get it out of the way quickly: G.G. Allin was a shit-eater. He also threw his excrement -- poos and wees -- at his audiences, punched people in the crowd and told Jerry Springer's... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists (Monkey Records)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists (Monkey Records)

Celebrating its 10th anniversary under the appealing banner "Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys!", the Auckland-based label Monkey Records is offering more than a dozen albums, a few EPs and some... > Read more