Tag Archives: Mali

Guitar-Fool on the Radio: Ali Farka Toure



My favourite Ali Farka Toure record. Such feeling and such virtuosity.  As I’m going through a tough period that seems to have sapped my creative energy, I’ll let others do the work tonight!


Radio Mali was Ali Farka Toure’s first release after 1994’s Grammy Award–winning collaboration with Ry Cooder, Talking Timbuktu. Released in Europe by World Circuit in 1996, it is a lavishly packaged collection of vintage recordings now being made commercially available in North America for the first time.


Image0004Throughout the 1970s, Ali Farka Toure recorded many hours of music for broadcast by Mali’s national radio. It was during this period that he established a formidable reputation in Mali and West Africa as a unique solo artist. Many people, including Toure himself, believe these recordings contain his finest performances—”recorded when I was an absolute fool for the guitar,” said Toure. Radio Mali presents the best of these recordings.

Playing acoustic guitar, sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by ngoni (traditional Malian guitar) and violin, he turns in some mesmerizing performances. Singing in Sonrai and Peul, Toure reaches into the deep traditions of northern Mali. These are the recordings which made him a star in his native Mali. Although later in his life, Toure worked with musicians like Cooder, Taj Mahal, and Toumani Diabaté, these early recordings have a power of their own. Radio Mali remains pure Farka Toure, a hypnotic master class. (http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/radio-mali)

Radio Mali


01 Njarka

02 Yer Mali Gakoyoyo

03 Soko

04 Bandalabourou

05 Machengoidi

06 Samarya

07 Hani

08 Gambari

09 (Njarka) Gambari

10 Biennal

11 Arsany

12 Amadinin

13 Seygalare

14 Trei Kongo

15 Radio Mali

16 Njarka (exerpt)