Review: The Toure-Raichel Collective – The Tel Aviv Sessions

Posted on: Friday, Dec 7, 2012

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The Toure-Raichel Collective – The Tel Aviv Sessions

(Cumbancha)

I admit I was prepared not to like this – these days many world music fusions seem to be bent on destroying what attracted the listener to the music in the first place, and combining the son of the late King of The Desert Blues with an Israeli keyboards player he’d met at the airport certainly seemed a step too far, particularly when the basis for the album was an impromptu session in a small studio in November 2010.

Surprise, surprise though, fans of Vieux Farka Toure should have no fear; he has always been open to wider influences, with a repertoire than can easily incorporate blues-rock or funk, but on this largely instrumental album he aims (generally) for a more straightforward West African blues sound, with his long, keening, delicate and intricate guitar lines well to the fore.

Keyboards player Idan Raichel is in total sympathy, adding jazz or rock flavours or sometimes hinting at traditional balafon (West African xylophone) or kora lines. With bass and calabash in support, and guests including harmonica player Frederic Yonnet on ‘Toure’, this is highly recommended to all lovers of the desert blues style.

Norman Darwen

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