October 19, 2008

Farka (1)

"The John Lee Hooker of Africa". If there was one thing that got Ali Farka Touré going it was being labelled like this. "I don't know the blues", he told me several times, "I only know 'la tradition'".
And this he knew very well.

Culture to Ali was primarily man's interaction with nature. That's why farming to him was a logical step from being a travelling musician.

In future posts I will certainly post more of his work; and not the tracks which have been released on CD, but the more private recordings of this unique person, plus some excerpts of my talks with him.

Here is a cassette which Ali recorded in Mali in the 1980s, and which is one of my favorites (especially the 11'47 min. version of "Gambari"!!). It features Ali going wild on his electric guitar. It is one of two volumes produced by Mahmoudou Maïga in Bamako (I'll post the second one later if you like).

And to calm down after that cassette, here is a video from Malian television. Is there anyone who can tell me the name of this track?

12 comments:

NGONI said...

This is the same tune as Gomni of Talking Timbuktu and In the Heart of the Moon,but it is unrecognizable because the nephew of Ali does not know playing guitar, I think that this time was the first and last time he played the guitar,then Alí allowed him to accompany him but playing congas.
The video clip is not entirely, is missing the most funy, when Alí starts to be angry and makes all kinds of gestures to indicate that the guitarist is on another pitch.
Wow now I´m hearing the cassette of Ali,a shiver runs through my back.
Thank you very much my friend, will not have a cassette "Takamba Super Once"to?

WrldServ said...

Thank you for this info. I will check those tracks.

Super Onze de Gao (a cassette I copied from Ali) is on my list to be posted, yes. I have a few cassettes by this incredible artist.
There is so much still to be posted, and I am trying to introduce those little by little (doni doni)...

Sanaag said...

What a great site! I'll def. explore it soon. The tracks is indeed Gomni (meaning happiness). In addition to the CD versions mentioned by ngoni, I've a couple of live versions. Let me know if you'd like to have them. Thanks for the video; footages of young Ali are hard to come by. I've uploaded one from 1980 here: http://www.megavideo.com/?v=PONQHHQB . Check out the related vids. Cheers!

pasi said...

Many Many thanks! This music is so hard to find from where I live(Finland). Amazing casette of Ali Farka. Thanks for this work!

Michael Charvet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel Norte said...

Perhaps someone can confirm . . . the calabash player is Ali's cousin Hamma Sankare? If so, he played more recently on Talking Timbuktu and on Markus James' CDs. Markus will be playing live at WorldFest, Grass Valley, California July 16-19, 2009. See you there!

WrldServ said...

@Miguel Norte: I am not sure that he is Ali's cousin, and I think is name is spelled "Sangaré". But he is in the video.
Thanks for your comment!

Miguel Norte said...

Thanks -- this is an excellent blog!

Here's the reference I found, but who knows if it's accurate:

http://tinyurl.com/lkcf33

Sublunari said...

Thank you so, so, so, so much for this music. I fell in love with music because of Ali Farka Toure, I've been listening to his stuff almost nonstop for over a year and I've never heard these cassettes before. Awesome.

philippe said...

HamMa Sankaré is not from Farka's family. He just played with him for a long time. (he plays now in Ali's nephew's band Afel Bocoum) The guitarist in this video is named Oumar Touré who also played congas for many years with Farka and who plays now in Samba Touré's band (www.samba-toure.com)
The song is one of many version of the Gomni traditional song (Ali Farka composed just a few songs, almost others in all his records are traditionals)

SimonBkoSwo said...

The last song of the cassette is cut before its end. Is it a uploading problem or is the song cut in the cassette itself ?

I was not a great fan of Ali Farka. Until I discovered this tape. Now I think I am able to go on discovering this artist. THANK YOU.

David said...

Fabulous - Ali jamming at his best despite the sound. What a fantastic discovery, thank you!!!!

And yes 12mins of Gambari is pretty wonderful.... :-D