REVIEW: The Touré-Raichel Collective - The Tel Aviv Sessions

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Monday September 10, 2012

from The Guardian

The Touré-Raichel Collective: The Tel Aviv Sessions
By Robin Denselow

A gently mesmeric set in which the Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré teams up with Israeli keyboard player Idan Raichel for a series of improvised, largely instrumental pieces in which both musicians quietly extend their range. Raichel has become something of a hero across the Middle East for his adventurous fusion of Israeli, Arab and African themes, though his band, the Idan Raichel Project, sometimes veer towards classy global easy-listening. Here, he allows the African guitar hero to dominate many of the tracks, with Touré moving away from his driving, electric-guitar blues-rock style to concentrate on laid-back acoustic riffs and improvised flurries that at times echo the work of his legendary father, Ali Farka Touré. Raichel adds sensitive piano embellishments, and the duo are backed by insistent bass and calabash percussion, with added harmonica work and vocals from Ethiopian-Israeli singer Cabra Casey. Ideal for late-night listening or meditation.

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