Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal, Sidi Toure

The Cedar's annual Global Roots Festival opens with a tasty dose of Malian blues, but with a French twist. Guitarist and singer Sidi Touré is from Gao, Mali, and although his noble family discouraged his musical endeavors, he eventually became the lead vocalist for several regional orchestras. As a guitarist, he plays a variation of Songhai blues in a similar vein as the great Ali Farka Touré (although no relation). But on Sahel Folk, Sidi Touré plays strictly acoustic guitar, collaborating with friends in a recording made at his sister's house. The result is hauntingly immediate and intimate, Touré's singing strikingly soulful while his picking is warm and hypnotic. Ballaké Sissoko, also from Mali, is a master of the kora who has collaborated with many others including the great kora player Toumani Diabaté. But Sissoko's Chamber Music project with French cellist Vincent Segal is like no other. Segal plays with great sensitivity, imparting a measure of European classical music to the proceedings, but in a manner that enhances the essence of Sissoko's entrancing Malian blues. (Photo by Pierre Emmanuel Rastoin)
Tue., Sept. 20, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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