Monday, February 18, 2008

Mali Monday #1: Ali Farka Touré

The master guitarist takes his ease. Click to enlarge the image. Originally found here.

Official website

Wikipedia entry

Long-time visitors here I have mentioned and linked to Touré's music in several posts. It seems appropriate, therefore, to kick off Mali Mondays with the undisputed king of his nation's music.

The Making of Niafunké (click on the 4th thumbnail-pic from the bottom-left). Both an ad for this stunning album and a glimpse of the life of this man: a former mayor of the town for whom the album is named and a farmer growing rice in the desert. Roots music indeed.

And this clip from a multi-part documentary called African Musical Legends (for which a couple of hours of searching failed to yield further information). It's here, though, because you get a good view of the calabash and njurkle (a small monochord guitar), both typical Malian instruments.

I hope you enjoy what you hear.


R. Sherman said...

Is there a translation for the song? I listened and wondered how the words and music meshed, if that makes sense. In other words, the song sounded "sad" to my western ears, but given that I know nothing about Malian music, I'm probably way off.


John B. said...

Your question is a reason why I hesitated for so long among the clips available before settling on this one--I don't even have a song title for this one, and I don't own an album that it appears on. I can say, though, based on the Touré albums for which I do have a sense of their lyrics, that he doesn't do "sad." The closest he gets to that emotion is a sort of grim determination to overcome adversity. No wallowing for this man.

Thanks for listening.

Sheila said...

So pleased you've designated Monday "Mali Monday".

Now I like Mondays.

melponeme_k said...
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Sanaag said...

I've just realised Oumou Sangare is not your first 'Mali Monday' entry.

I don't know what the song is called or what it's about, but the singer/guitarist is Afel Bocoum; Ali Farka Toure's nephew and long-time member of Toure's band. He's his own band and, as far as I know, a couple of albums out. More on his site: