On Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Fondo is a solid album that firmly establishes Vieux Farka Toure's place in a long list of world class Malian musicians. His style is typically Malian and like many of his counterparts, he successfully manages, so seamlessly, to fuse the traditional and modern: From the deep blues of Fafa to the achingly beautiful track Paradise, on which he plays a respectful delicate accompaniment to the legendary Kora of Toumani Diabate. Farka Toure's soft vocals compliment the guitar-led blues style. The legacy of modern blues can be heard in his music and his father's before him. A sound of cultural and historical significance, that sense of history and legacy understandably runs throughout this album. With a reputation in his country for being an amazing live performer, Farka Toure has delivered as an artist in his own right. Equally though, a sense of careful respect for his heritage underpins the entire album. Ali Farka Toure's tutelage can be clearly heard and it's a beautifully touching aspect of what is one of the finest albums to come out of Africa this year.
African music is a sort of indulgence I return to at least a few times a year. At its best it's exotic, longing, and gut-wrenchingly beautiful. Last year two of my favorites were Chiwoniso's Rebel Woman and Seprewa Kasa's Seprewa Kasa
This year, without question, I'm absolutely emamoured with Vieux Farka Touré's "Fondo". Most already know this is the son of the late, great musician Ali Farka Touré. Based on that, many more can probably guess the sort of genre this record fits into. But don't let that pigeonhole this album for you, there's wonderful guitar work here along with vocals that would be superlative in any genre.
If you only download one track, make certain it's the gorgeous "Fafa". Were you to do that, however, you'd miss out on an album that rewards in spades when taken as a whole. In fact, it's difficult for me to single out 'favorites' because I enjoy the entire record immensely.
It's well worth spending a few minutes trying out the samples here. Because if you're a fan of beautiful or exotic music, I'm willing to bet you'll find yourself owning this album within minutes. I certainly did.
02. Aï Haïra
03. Souba Souba
06. Slow Jam
08. Diaraby Magni
09. Chérie Lé
11. Fafa (Reprise)
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