Among the treasures of the World Circuit label is The Source by Ali Farka Touré, the Malian guitar virtuoso/magician. Recorded in 1992 in two hours with a small group at Niafunké’s house on the banks of the Niger River, this major album at the junction of the blues is being re-released. Re-mastered from the original tapes, it’s a double album that comes with a beautiful booklet.

Touré used to say, “Honey is never tasty in one mouth”, and so for this album, he surrounded himself with the storytelling of his nephew and current successor, Afel Bocoum, as well as the choirs, calabashes, and congas of the house backing band, Asko.

Most importantly, he invited for the first time two musicians from elsewhere to go upstream aboard his six string: American bluesman Taj Mahal on guitar and a deep-voiced duet on two songs and Nitin Sawhney’s Indian tablas. Together, they reaped what History had scattered from Mali to Mississippi. The restored version also gives us “Takamba,” a majestic unreleased song whose calm pulse and lush strings pay the most wonderful tribute to Ali Farka Touré’s sacred ground.


Ali Farka Touré, The Source (World Circuit)

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