Vieux Farka Touré - Ali - Jade
Vieux Farka Touré
Ali Farka Touré trekked the world, bringing his beloved Malian music to
the masses. Dubbed "the African John Lee Hooker," one could hear strong
connections between the two; both employed a bluesy style of play with gritty
textures that elicit calm and fury in equal measure. While the influence of Black
blues music prevailed, Touré created a West African blend of 'desert blues' that
garnered Grammy awards and widespread reverence.
Though he transcended in 2006, Ali's musical legacy lives on through his
son, Vieux aka "the Hendrix of the Sahara," an accomplished guitarist and
champion of Malian music in his own right. On Ali, his collaborative album
with Khruangbin, Vieux pays homage to his father by recreating some of his
most resonant work, putting new twists on it while maintaining the original's
integrity. The result is a rightful ode to a legend.
Ali isn't just a greatest hits compilation. It's a lullaby, a remembrance of Ali's
life through known highlights and B-sides from his catalog. It is a testament
to what happens when creativity is approached through open arms and open
hearts. "To me, music is magic, it is spontaneous, it is the energy between
people," Vieux says. "I think Khruangbin understands this very well."
The genesis of the album dates back to 2019, when Khruangbin, coming
off their breakthrough album Con Todo el Mundo, was beginning to play
to bigger crowds. The record was finished in 2021, as a global pandemic
shuttered businesses and forced us to take stock of what Earth was becoming.
Indirectly, Ali captures this as a moment of peace within a raging storm, a
conversation between past and present without allegiance to suffering. Now,
given Khruangbin's reach as a unit with legions of fans (including the likes of
Jay-Z and Paul McCartney), they're poised to bring Malian music to broader
groups of listeners.
Ali is a masterful work in which the love surrounding it is just as vital as
the music itself, driving it to unforeseen places; Vieux and Khruangbin are
spreading the good word to a completely new generation. "I hope it takes
them somewhere new, or puts them in a place they haven't felt or heard," Lee
says. "It is about the love of new friendship and making something beautiful
together," Vieux continues. "It is about pouring your love into something old to
make it new again. In the end and in a word it is love, that's all."