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Sidi Toure Expands Pallete on 'Koima'

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 19:04

Sidi Toure

Sidi Toure

Sidi Toure

Koima

(Thrill Jockey)

Grade: B

Sidi Toure, from Mali, plays varieties of traditional African blues akin to his late countryman Ali Farka Toure; they share a musical lineage but not a familial one. His first album for American indie label Thrill Jockey, last year's Sahel Folk, was a low-key acoustic set of convivial and hypnotic duo recordings made at his sister's house. On Koima, the guitarist and singer expands his palette: He recorded it in a Bamako studio with a quintet that includes a lead guitarist, bass player, vocalist, calabash player and soukou (violin) player. On the album's centerpiece, the nearly eight-minute "Ishi Tanmaha (They No Longer Hope)," the mood is somber and cyclical, but elsewhere the rhythms quicken with lightning runs on guitar and violin and vibrant call-and-response vocals that contrast Toure's deep voice with Leila Gobi's high-pitched one. Koima means "go hear." It's good advice.

 

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