Mali, 1993, Songhai music / blues

Ali Farka TouréThe Source

What this seems to me is a meditation on blues seen through the lens of traditional Mali music. A lot of African music I’ve come across is repetitive (in the best sense), as it builds on a lick or a brief musical theme, expanding with joy all the permutations possible. Of course I lack the cultural and linguistic context to understand this music completely, but it feels like a meandering journey always keeping its gaze on the horizon. That is, a lot of space and openness communicated though the music. Halfway through the album, “Hawa Dolo” sideswipes you with heartbreaking beauty.

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