October 18, 2009

Vingt kilomètres

I copied this cassette from Ali Farka Touré in the early 1990s. He used to bring cassettes along on his travels, usually from local celebrities*, and occasionally of his own work. In turn I made copies for him of music which over time had become rare in Mali, - like for example the Koni Coumaré lp on Fiesta, or (good quality) cassettes of Toumani Koné.

The cassette contains private recordings made by Ali himself, of a concert in Dofana by his group Asko, featuring Ali, Hamma Sankaré and Amadou 'Affel' Bocoum. So the recordings were made 'chez lui', and if you ask me, this can clearly be heard in the result. Ali is obviously in his element. Take the last song: this is music for wide horizons, for the slow flow of water in the nearby river.
I haven't checked this, but I wouldn't be surprised if all of the songs have - in one version or another - been released on the many cd's Ali has left behind. I do know the first song was re-recorded a few years later for the album "The Source".
But this cd-version, in my opinion, can't compete with the version on this cassette.

In case you're wondering about the surrealistic picture on the right: I have added this partial screenprint from Google maps to give you a (very rough) idea of the layout of the village that is the subject of this song. The yellow line on the top right is a road. So to get from Niafunké (the principle village in the cercle, as Affel remarks) the river seems the easiest way. And the 'vingt kilomètres' (twenty kilometers) must be the distance from Niafunké to Dofana by pirogue. The song celebrates a project in Dofana to use water from the river for irrigation (thus enabling some agriculture to take place in this remote locality) and the initiator of this project.

Ali himself followed this example some years later, and eventually even retired from music all together to concentrate on this original form of culture....

Dofana Oct. 1990

I found this video on YouTube, which seems very appriopriate with this post:

PS: alternative download link.

* I'll post some of these later (...oh oh, there he goes again, promising things....)


icastico said...

Wow. Rare AFT is always a nice surprise. Thanks.

sweeten said...

wow indeed! thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this treasure...
I'm in love with your blog...Thank you...
Kostas from Greece.

Anonymous said...

Just when I think I've heard it all, you come up with something like this.

You are the man. Thanks for your sharing.

Anonymous said...

I still hearing this versions of Dofana, again and again,thank you.

The man sitting in front Ali in the video is Samba Toure,he had his last cassettes in a new CD.
Call,Songhai Blues - Homage To Ali Farka Touré.

urijenny said...

Buenas tardes.

Cuando ya casi no esperaba encontrar en la web más material de Alí Farka Touré, encontré en tu blog este registro.

Muchas gracias.

Ya que es la primera vez que escribo un comentario en tu blog, aprovecho para decirte que es uno de mis blogs preferidos. Es fantástica toda la música que compartís, aunque yo tengo una particular preferencia por la de Mali.

Cordiales saludos desde Mendoza en la República Argentina.