CD The Mande Variations (CD 1148641),
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The Mande Variations

  • 1. Si Naani
    2. Elyne Road
    3. Ali Farka Toure
    4. Kaounding Cissoko
    5. Ismael Drame
    6. Djourou Kara Nany
    7. El Nabiyouna
    8. Cantelowes
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 755979944-21

  • Credits

    Renowned for collaborations with his late mentor, Ali Farka Toure, and American blues musician Taj Mahal, Malian performer Toumani Diabate goes it alone on THE MANDE VARIATIONS, allowing full attention to fall on the gorgeous chiming sound of his kora, a harp-like West African instrument. Diabate pays tribute to his teacher on the dexterous "Ali Farka Toure," and serenely slows things down on "Elyne Road," always allowing emotion to shine even brighter than his stunning technical skill. One of Diabate's finest outings, this 2008 instrumental album is an ideal introduction to kora playing, and essential to any comprehensive collection of Malian music.

  • Critic Reviews
    Uncut (p.85) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[S]tately, intricate, meditative, rooted in a culture, but never afraid to transcend it."
    The Wire (p.65) - "Diabate's virtuosity exists in a calm space, his dancing filigrees beautifully framed."
    CMJ - "[A] wholly acoustic performance highlighting the beauty and versatility of the string instrument he has mastered."
    Dirty Linen (p.50) - "Not only is this a stunning reminder of how much Diabate has grown as a musician, composer and improviser, but it is possibly one of the most meditative and most beautiful albums ever made by a kora player."
    Q (Magazine) (p.103) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Recorded up close, it's the very definition of a virtuoso performance and, on its own terms, close to perfection."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "His thumbs play a complex bass motif, one hand creates the rhythm and the other solos with a series of dazzling explosions that echo the sabar drums of Senegal's mbalax."
    Paste (magazine) (p.73) - "His songs emulate a cascading waterfall....Never ceasing to astound with his unique combination of virtuosity and soul....You need only to hear him to understand his diabolical wizardry."
    The Beat (Magazine) (p.14) - "[Diabate adds] unusual expressive elements to his approach while still remaining true to the history of Mand music."
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