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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Like the Delta Blues mesmerists to whom he is perhaps too often compared, the late Malian guitar maestro Ali Farka Toure was a master of transforming the notion of the “just noticeable difference” into a hypnotic musical principle. It's a principle Junior Kimbrough, John Lee Hooker and James Brown also knew, and like the work of those artists, Ali Farka Toure’s music gains much of its power from his ability to extract minute, just noticeable variations from the prolonged repetition of a seemingly simple musical phrase. With the aid of local Malian musicians and former James Brown saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, Toure works the loping pentatonic grooves of Savane into extended meditations of matchless grace and fluidity. The guitar work on Savane is positively incandescent; Toure's serpentine lead imbues tracks like “Banga” and “Hanana” with a seething improvisational tension that builds as his accompanists strain to adapt themselves to his tricky phrasing. Recorded shortly before Toure’s death in March of 2006, Savane stands as the final musical testament of a true original.

Customer Reviews


the blues is the blues is the blues. I'm so tired of the current music scene. That's why I started really looking into what's offered on the world site. That's when I discovered this artist by accident. What a treasure. No matter I don't understand a word he says, it don't matter. I feel the music and that's all that matters. Don't you know.

Excellent roots music!

The world lost a genius when Toure died earlier this year. If you haven't heard him before, this album is definitely worth checking out. It's a divergence from his In the Heart of the Moon album, but excellent in its own right. Great easy playing, singing and accompanying musicians. A true master.


Its sort of like blues music, but not exactly. It is very easy to slip inside this music, to just let it carry you away and forget everything else. The delivery is neat, authentic, mostly unproduced or remixed. You feel like he is right there next to you, relating some fascinating story in musical form, or sharing a little joke that makes you smile irresistably. This is the music of an old and dear friend, coming by to see how you have been, and to reminisce about the past. To call it beautiful would be accurate, but it would also miss the point. There is nothing showy or elaborate about this music. It is too personal for that, too real. It is better than beuatiful.


Born: 1939 in Timbuktu

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most internationally successful West African musicians of the '90s, Ali Farka Touré was described as "the African John Lee Hooker" so many times that it probably began to grate on both Touré's and Hooker's nerves. There is a lot of truth to the comparison, however, and it isn't exactly an insult. The guitarist, who also played other instruments such as calabash and bongos, shared with Hooker (and similar American bluesmen...
Full Bio
Savane, Ali Farka Touré
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Customer Ratings