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Voyageur, nine unreleased tracks from Ali Farka Touré in posthumous album
Credit: Dave Peabody
1 week ago

Voyageur, nine unreleased tracks from Ali Farka Touré in posthumous album

Nick Gold, World Circuit and Vieux Farka Touré unveil nine previously unreleased compositions by the great Ali Farka Touré with the album Voyageur, available March 10th.

In 2011, the posthumous album Ali & Toumani, a duet with Bamako korist Toumani Diabaté, won a Grammy. And seventeen years after the death of the great Malian master Ali Farka Touré, his label World Circuit delivers – sparingly – nine original tracks. Compiled in the album Voyageur, these compositions add to the impressive discography of Farka, international icon of Malian wallahidu. 

From his native Kanau village on the Niger River to Los Angeles, the late Ali Farka Touré planted the seeds of world music on every continent. Though in love with his lands, this farmer, and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, couldn’t resist the call of music for long. At the age of 37, after a ten-year career with the band La Troupe 117, he released his first solo album, soberly named Farka. The impact was unprecedented, and the tour that followed took him to Europe, the United States and Asia. But after several brilliant albums including Talking Timbuktu – in collaboration with the American guitarist Ry Cooder, and triumphant tours, the artist retired. Ali Farka Touré wished to devote himself to agriculture. However, he returned two years later with Niafunké, a blues gem recorded on his land. Until his death, the singer tried several times to break up with the recording studios, to no avail. Music remained at the heart of his life, and the album Voyageur retraces his last fifteen years of passion. 

Produced by Nick Gold, founder of World Circuit, and Vieux Farka Touré, son of the artist and renowned musician, Voyageur will be available on March 10. In anticipation, the single “Safari” offers a glimpse of the opus, driven by “the clean, haunting melodies of Ali’s signature Songhai, through the anthemic choruses of the fishermen and the pulsating rhythms of the hunters”. All in all, a majestic set of Sahelian blues, worthy of the musical legacy left by one of the greatest names in African music. 

Listen to “Safari” in our Songs of the Week playlist.

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