Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré | World Village
By BANNING EYRE  |  February 13, 2007
4.0 4.0 Stars
Vieux Farka Touré

Sons of musical icons, especially late ones, have both bloodlines and a lot to live up to. The debut CD from the son of Malian roots-music icon Ali Farka Touré, who died last March, suggests he may be with us for a while. The son has a strong, pleasing voice and an easy facility with the sort of æthereal, filigree guitar picking that served the father so well. This set of 10 songs is varied and well formed, spanning Mande, Fulani, Songhai, and more on the Mali roots side and even venturing a sweetly pendulous reggae arrangement (“Ana”). Two young producers, Eric Herman (Canadian) and Dave Ahl (American), help out with crisp, unobtrusive arrangements that set this release apart from many of its peers. And there are other helpers, including kora (harp) master Toumani Diabaté, whose duets with the son, “Touré de Niafunké” and “Diabaté,” echo his Grammy-winning session with the father. The clincher here is the inclusion of two final performances by Ali Farka himself, particularly the hypnotic “Diallo.” An auspicious launch indeed, and one that sets a high bar for the follow-up.

Vieux Farka Touré | Johnny D’s, 17 Holland St, Somerville | March 1 | 617.776.2004.

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