Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And an Angel brought: Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabete: In the Heart of the Moon

After Rose Hill Drive threw down in my hood Friday night, I mysteriously woke up hurtin. My neck throbbed from head-banging, my liver hurt from Jimmy Beam and my black t-shirt stank of one too many Marlboro reds. That's when I looked in the mirror, (put my hand up on a cup) and said, "Eek, you need to take a break from being so jacked-up, rock 'n' roll all the time."

Just as I'm about to pull the trigger, a mysterious angel-friend rolls into my apartment. He exhales gently, flops 3 albums on the table and says: "if you only have time for one, make it Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabete: In the Heart of the Moon."
Go figure.

So I unknowingly pop it in the noise-machine and… LO! Mine prayers are answered! The electricity dims and the candles light themselves. The Sun passes behind a cloud and, suddenly, everything smells like Aloe Vera and mountain mist.
…But what's that dripping?

The dripping, I soon realize, are the dueling heartstrings of Ali & Toumani, as they transcend tribe and culture to bring a kind of Malian satori to my mid-morning battlefield.

Writes Ali Farka Toure, inside the album jacket:"I am Arma and Toumani is a Griot. I am from the Songrai/Peul culture in the north and he is a Mandé from the south. It's rare that musicians meet like this from different traditions. But there is something that unites us and it is art and culture, which have no borders."

Indeed this recording, released on World Circuit in June of 2005, is distinguished by its chemistry - apparent even to ears as unfamiliar with the genre as my own.
And while their plucking baptizes me in the dancing flames of West-African celebration, I turn to see my visitor's robes trickling out the door.
"Yo, dog! I didn't catch your n---…"

But he was gone. And I've been drinking Tuareg Tea ever since

As I listen to...
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate- Ai Ga Bani

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