Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CD Review: Afel Bocoum & Alkibar From North Africa

Afel Bocoum & Alkibar
Tabital Pulaaku
The music of the late-Malian guitarist, Ali Farka Toure, has inspired a new generation of musicians from Mali, Africa, and beyond. If Ali Farka Toure was your uncle, then you would have a very special introduction to the blues-guitar music of the desert -- North Africa, that is. This is precisely the case for Afel Bocoum. His uncle, Ali Farka Toure, was a musical icon and inspirational figure in his home country of Mali. Afel Bocoum and his band, Alkibar, continue in the musical traditions set forth by Ali Farka Toure in the 1980's and 90's. Tabital Pulaaku means 'Endurance of the Peul culture'. In effect, Afel presents his cultural heritage in a musical fashion for all to enjoy. There are songs sung in Peul, Songhai, and Bambara. Afel's guitar and vocals are backed by njarka, njurkle, bass, calabash, and n'goni instruments. Most of the songs resemble the lighter, acoustic works of fellow desert denizens Issa Bagayogo, Tinariwen, Boolumbal, and Toumast. At any rate, the musical production is first class and the songs are authentic and moving. Start your musical journey with Afel Bocoum and Alkibar today! For bilingual listeners, the liner notes are in French and English. ~ Matthew Forss

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