Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré

Browse the cutout bin of any record store and you’ll be sure to find it clogged with unwanted offerings from the offspring of talented musicians. But this debut album from Vieux Farka Touré, the preternaturally talented son of late Malian guitar maestro Ali Farka Touré, deserves a better fate. Vieux possesses an astonishingly subtle guitar style whose sinuous fluidity feels like a legitimate progression from Ali’s dust blown fingerpicking. He's clearly mastered the dry desert sound that his father pioneered but he's not content to linger in his shadow, occasionally incorporating driving 4-4 rhythms, and reggae tempos that point to Vieux’s past as a percussionist. He cut his teeth as an instrumentalist backing renowned Malian guitarist Toumani Diabaté, and Diabaté lends his dexterous fingerpicking, and painterly chords to a number of the album’s best tracks. Indeed, Diabaté’s contributions are only eclipsed by the presence of Ali Farka Touré himself on the loping “Tabara” and the frenetically percussive “Diallo”. Hearing Ali and his son trade serpentine lead runs with one another is a truly breathtaking experience which proves beyond doubt that Vieux is a worthy heir to his father’s formidable talents.

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