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Sidi Touré: Alafia

by Brad Farberman on March 10, 2014

The music on Alafia, the latest album from the Malian singer-guitarist Sidi Touré, falls somewhere between meditative and determined. Brought to life by bass, acoustic guitar, big backing vocals, clickety-clackety calabash percussion, and sinuous, mandolin like n’goni, the earthy, riff-centric tunes on Alafia are spacious but not meandering. The sounds often stay in one place, but never fail to transport the listener. The serene “L’eau” benefits from some country-ish guitar leads from Kalil Touré. The reflective first section of “La Paix” sees Cheick Diallo’s breathy, animated flute floating on top of guitar, n’goni and Sidi’s soothing vocals. The funky “Mali” builds from dancing string lines and a precise, insistent calabash beat. And a Hendrix-like, jarring-in-a-good- way electric guitar solo rips into “Ay Takamba.”

Authors: Brad Farberman
Artist: Sidi Touré
Album: Alafia
Label: Thrill Jockey