Uncut (p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The acoustic instruments ripple and sparkle...creating a languid Saharan blues of great beauty."
Dirty Linen (p.44) - "[T]he two were able to improvise in a fluid, almost telepathic manner, and the excitement and intimacy of the collaboration is beautifully captured in this remarkable recording."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.60) - Ranked #30 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "A treasure trove of spine-tingling moments."
Personnel: Ali Farka Touré (vocals, guitar); Ali Farka Touré; Sekou Kanté (bass guitar); Lekan Babalola (percussion); Ry Cooder (guitar, piano); Toumani Diabaté (kora); James Thompson (shaker); Joachim Cooder (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Jerry Boys.
Liner Note Authors: Ali Farka Touré; Nick Gold ; Toumani Diabaté; Lucy Duran.
Recording information: EGREM Studios, Havana, Cuba (07/2004); Hotel Mande, Bamako, Mali (07/2004); Livingston Studios, London, England (07/2004); Sound Sity Studios, Los Angeles, CA (07/2004); Studio Bogolan, Bamako, Mali (07/2004).
Photographer: Youri Lenquette.
Arrangers: Ali Farka Touré; Toumani Diabaté.
With albums like 1991's THE SOURCE, Malian guitarist, singer, and songwriter Ali Farka Toure proved he could come close to artistic perfection, a feat he accomplishes again with 2005's IN THE HEART OF THE MOON. A duet with kora player Toumani Diabate, IN THE HEART focuses on Malian and Guinean music from the 1950s and '60s with a few originals by Farka Toure. The subtle and complexly lyrical dialogues between the guitar and the kora (which has a resonant, plunking sound that is surprisingly versatile and expressive) are highly melodic, gently rhythmic, and quite haunting.
A few session musicians make low-key appearances here (including the ubiquitous Ry Cooder), but this is primarily a duo date, and the clean, straightforward production lets the immediate beauty of the music shine through. For its grace, balance, and loveliness, IN THE HEART OF THE MOON is one of the finest releases in Farka Toure's already outstanding catalogue.
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