Six Degrees (label)
12 May 2017 (released)
30 April 2017
Vieux Farka Toure is a legend as was his father before him. As African musicians go he is miles above the rest in terms of his importance and his impact as a musician and it is not difficult to hear his influence in bands far and wide.
This album was recorded as part of the Woodstock Sessions in Saugherties New York, essentially live in the studio with an audience. The immediate advantage is in the immediacy of the music and the interplay between the musicians that can often be lost in studio recordings and you can add to that a near-perfect sound environment so getting the best of all worlds. Oh, and the music itself is intense and enveloping, bringing the listener in close to the music and the emotion of it all.
There are 10 brand new songs here – 2 featuring Israeli superstar Idan Raichel – and a sense of an album that is completely free and fresh. No obligations and stretching out with the music and the band he wants to.
The rhythms are insistent and fluid, he moves easily through Malian Blues, funk, reggae and praise songs and the numbers themselves were developed in the studio so you get the feel of music in its gestation but in the environment he has always been the master – live.
I think that Toure is approaching a creative peak. He has been developing a new sound of Africa, adding western pacing and power but without ever losing his roots – you could never say that this was anything other than African music at its best – and bringing traditional instruments into a new mainstream.
Just another magnificent album from the ‘Hendrix of the Sahara’.
He will be playing the following dates:
12 June Komedia Brighton
13 June Norwich Arts Centre
14 June Turner Sims Southampton
15 June Howard Assembly Rooms Leeds
16 June Jazz Café London
17 June Doolin Folk Festival Ireland
18 June The Apex Bury St Edmunds