Sunday, August 25, 2013

CD Review: Samba Toure's 'Albala'

Samba Toure

Born in Mali, Africa, Samba Toure creates moving blues music with lilting guitar work and North African rhythms. Samba tackles the guitar, calabash, and percussion instruments. As a vocalist, Samba resembles Ali Farka Toure. There are backing vocals on a few tracks and traditional violins and contemporary keyboards on others. Overall, Samba's music is full of Malian brilliance with engaging vocals and enthralling instrumentation with lyrics that tackle societal ills. Samba is joined by Djime Sissoko on ngoni, Madou Sanogo on congas/djembe, Zoumana Tereta on sokou, Aminata Wassidje Traore on backing vocals, and Hugo Race on guitar and keyboards. The bluesy tunes and ambulating beats are raw and passionate. Anyone familiar with North African guitar blues will notice Albala--a fast-emerging release that combines the best of both worlds: African roots and blues music. ~ Matthew Forss

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