Toumani Diabate/Ballake Sissoko: New Ancient Strings

A great and wonderful album is the kora duet project with Toumani Diabate and Ballake Sissoko, New Ancient Strings (Hannibal 1428; 53:28). This album takes its name from a 1970 recording of the same name, performed by these younger generation kora players’ fathers, Sidiki Diabate and Djelimadi Sissoko. Hearing this album, beautifully played and sensitively realized, confirms our suspicions that the kora is not only one of the most fascinating and inspiring instruments in Africa, but in the world at large.