Nonesuch Toumani Diabaté : The Mandé Variations (ML,2008)****°
I need to mention this release by one of the masters of one of my favourite instruments, the kora. Educated by his father Sidiki Diabaté, known as the king of the kora, Toumani has the vision to make this both a contemporary instrument with all respect to its traditions. It is influenced by many different styles, in each track with a different vision and perspective. Played are a machine-head kora what he calls an Egyptian tuning and a traditional kora in sauta tuning. There exists 4 different tunings of which tomora ba and hardino are mostly used by Mali musicians, sounding close to western scales, and sauta and tomora mesengo, mainly used in Southern Senegal. Toulan's Egyptian tuning is closest to the tomora mesengo. The koras have a combination of nylon and harp strings.