Toumani Diabate, like Foday Musa Suso, is regarded as one of the greatest living virtuosos on the kora, the 21-string West African harp-lute. Coming from a prominent musical family in the country of Mali, Diabate showcases his reputation as an inventive and lyrical performer on Kaira, his first solo album. The five pieces represent some of the classic kora works, and, at five to ten minutes in length, they allow Diabate plenty of time to stretch out and reveal his dazzling virtuosity. The tunes are all built around a solid bassline and a basic melodic theme around which Diabate improvises, producing a richly ornamented sound that is lively, fluid and engaging.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic