Review: VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ // Fondo

October 10, 2009

Vieux Farka Touré has BIG shoes to fill.  His father Ali made the definitive African Blues album with Ry Cooder – Talking Timbuktu – and was one of Africa’s brightest international musical lights.  So we were excited and intrigued to see what the young Farka Touré would bring during his Winnipeg stop in June.

Well, his dad would be proud.  Not only did Vieux deliver one of the most exhilerating and inspired performances of the Jazz Festival, this record stands up to the work of his father – who was able to contribute to this album before his passing in 2006.

This is a record defined by rather aggressive guitar, strong musicality, and a sense of worldly patience.  Ai Haira rocks with groove and a cutting riff.  Souba Souba showcases some Bill Frissell-esque uses of delay and spaciousness.  And Mali is a heartwarming homage to Vieux’s homeland.  But the heartbeat of this album comes bursting forth in Cherie Le – gritty, groovy, and swaggering.

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