Sizing up 2005 in the final weeks, this album jumps out as a neglected gem. Lots of world music top-10 lists this year include In The Heart of the Moon, Toumani Diabate’s soulful session with Ali Farka Toure. It is a sweet, laid back encounter between two masters, but if you really want to hear the kora played with gusto, as well as mastery, Toumani’s cousin Mamadou has the record for you. Behmanka is among the most beautiful and technically awesome kora recordings ever made. From its stately opener "Touma," which revisits the title track from Mamadou’s ensemble debut album, to the lashing, 12/8 lope of the exhilarating closer, "Djimbaseh," these 8 tracks take your breath away.
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