Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder-Aidu Du

Musicologists may wax poetic about the connection between West African music and American blues, but this GRAMMY®-winning 1994 release—a genius collaboration between a Malian guitar legend and an American multi-instrumentalist/producer—was a groundbreaking proof-of-concept. Touré’s hypnotic melodies (sung in 11 languages!) float over shimmering acoustic and electric guitars from Cooder and notable guests (including John Patitucci and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown). Dusky, entrancing, and stunningly gorgeous,

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