Guitarist Ali Farka Touré has repeatedly bridged the gap between traditional African and contemporary American vernacular music, and this release continues that tradition. Talking Timbuktu
features him singing in 11 languages and playing acoustic and electric guitar, six-string banjo, njarka, and percussion, while teaming smartly with an all-star cast that includes superstar fusion bassist John Patitucci
, session drummer Jim Keltner
, longtime roots music great Ry Cooder
(who doubled as producer), venerable guitarist Gatemouth Brown
, and such African percussionists and musicians as Hamma Sankare
on calabash and Oumar Touré on congas.