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The Touré-Raichel Collective – “Bamba”
The Tel Aviv Session
Today we take a look at The Touré-Raichel Collective who are releasing their first album together entitled The Tel Aviv Session on Cumbancha. Idan Raichel and Vieux Farka Touré first bumped into each other at an airport in Germany when they were both on tour in 2008. By November 2010 they were recording together in a small studio in Tel Aviv. Joined by Israeli bassist Yossi Fine and Malian calabash player Souleymane Kane, Idan and Vieux improvised a set of songs together that are the result of a jam session.
Idan Raichel is already a superstar and household name in Israel. He is a part of the Idan Raichel Project, who play an international fusion of African, Middle Eastern and Eastern European styles. He has sold plenty of records in Israel and abroad. I saw the Idan Raichel Project at the Town Hall in NYC a couple of weeks ago. Take a look at the review of the show. Idan has been a huge fan of Ali Farka Touré, Vieux’s father, for years. Upon meeting Vieux, Idan confessed his love for Ali’s music and said he would join Vieux’s band as a sideman.
“I have a dream. I will leave my band and come join yours as a keyboard player. I don’t care if I get paid or anything, I just want to follow you around and see how you do it.” – Idan Raichel
Soon after, Idan flew out to Cartagena, Spain to join Vieux in concert for their first collaboration together. Two years later, Idan invited Vieux to the Tel Aviv Opera House for a world music series he curated. The two of them traded riffs on stage backed by Vieux’s full band on a special night. Idan wanted more and found a studio in south Tel Aviv to jam in. Idan, Vieux, Yossi and Souleymane from Vieux’s band played for just three hours. The songs they created are here on The Tel Aviv Session and mark the highest level of creativity. There was minimal discourse and maximum improvisation as the group played together and came up with songs on the spot. Idan’s piano and Vieux’s acoustic guitar blend together brilliantly while Yossi and Souleymane hold each groove down. Although Idan and Vieux come from completely different backgrounds, Israel and Mali respectively, the two share a unique musical relationship.
“Music has no borders. What’s important is the spirit between people – their backgrounds are not a factor at all if there is a shared respect and a musical connection. From the first time I played with Idan, we shared this musical understanding. So to me it doesn’t make a difference if he is from Israel, Japan, or Mars, we will speak the same language when it comes to music.” – Vieux Farka Touré