Magazine article New Internationalist

Toumani & Sidiki

Magazine article New Internationalist

Toumani & Sidiki

Article excerpt

Toumani & Sidiki

by Toumani Diabaté and Sidiki Diabaté (World Circuit Records, WCD 087, CD and download)

Class acts don't get much better than this. It's well known that kora maestro Toumani Diabaté descends from a 700-year-old dynasty of Mandé griots and that his father, Sidiki, was the musician who brought the kora, the West A frican 21-string harp, to a wider audience with an important record, Mali: Ancient Strings, over 40 years ago. Now a new release, beautifully and sparely recorded in London, poses the latest intergenerational dialogue between Toumani and the junior Sidiki, a 23-year-old who, when not transmitting the kora to new listeners, runs a Bamako studio where he makes beats for hiphop star Iba One.

There is a no fluff here, just the pure and poetic play of two kora melodies weaving around each other. It's a lovely and balanced conversation in which old Mandé tunes are weighed against ones that sound more contemporary, such as the slow and lilting 'Claudia and Salma'. …

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