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Monday, June 27, 2005

In The Heart Of The Moon

Considered in Africa as the Godfather of Blues, Guitarist Ali Farka Touré and 71 generation kora player Toumani Diabaté, both of whom come from Mali, are two of Africa's greatest musicians. In the Heart of the Moon is their first full-length album collaboration and it is also the first new album by either artist in 5 years. The original idea was that they would duet on just one track, but their creativity could not be contained, and the result is an album's worth of new material. There were no rehearsals, and the improvised performances were recorded over three magical two-hour sessions at the Hotel Mandé, on the banks of the Niger River, in Bamako, Mali.

Of the recordings Diabaté said, "It was as though the songs had already been written for us. All we had to do was play it."

With Ali on acoustic guitar and Toumani's kora, there was some extraordinary interplay between the pair. The recordings also feature subtle contributions from Ry Cooder on kawai piano & ripley guitar, Sekou Kante and Cachaíto López on bass, and Joachim Cooder and Lekan Babalola on percussion.

Consider then why these true musicians are not playing for the Live 8 concerts, supposedly to inspire G8 politicians towards the plight of Africa.

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