My only interest in the Grammys each year is who wins in the traditional music categories, specifically folk and world music. Don’t care about Mariah. Don’t care about Bono. And sure as hell don’t care about Kelly Clarkson. All I care about is the artistic traditions created by our musical and cultural ancestors and maintained today by some of the world’s finest musicians.
This year’s winners (see the NY Times full list) offer some fine music:
Traditional Folk Album: ”Fiddler’s Green,” Tim O’Brien.
Contemporary Folk Album: ”Fair & Square,” John Prine.
Traditional World Music Album: ”In the Heart of the Moon,” Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.
I’m not yet familiar with the first two albums (but I hope to get a representative song from each one up here soon). But In the Heart of the Moon is an extraordinary recording and was fully deserving of the Grammy. Here’s what I wrote about it for my mp3 blog last September when I first discovered it:
Ali Farka Toure has produced yet another recording of consummate musical mastery in In the Heart of the Moon. This time his musical collaborator is the master kora player, Toumani Diabate. They are extraordinary partners in this venture. For a musical sample, give a listen to Hawa Dolo.
Toure previously recorded another classic with Ry Cooder, the Grammy-winning Talking Timbuktu, which seemed to be an extended meditation on the interconnectedness of west African music and American Blues. Though it was a bolder and slightly more dynamic recording than In the Heart, the latter is a beautiful and mesmerizing meditation on ethnic and regional diversity within Malian music. Toure himself reflects on this aspect of their project in an interview at Fly.co.uk.
Leave a Reply