The Touré-Raichel Collective - The Paris Session

There are plenty of things in this world that can absolutely blow our minds. For instance people who make a political stance on something just because a talking head on a news program told them it was right, or why guys wear white sunglasses, or in a better way, watching the leaves change this time of year, or watching the sun set on a brisk evening as the light dances among the clouds in vibrant colors, or anything Idan Raichel releases, or anything Vieux Farka Touré plays. But what can really blow your mind is the follow up to The Tel Aviv Session by The Touré-Raichel Collective.

Masters of their art in their own right, if not to say they are among conversations including the word “legendary” to future generations, Raichel and Touré have regrouped to impart another slice of their brilliant collaboration upon our ears. The resulting thirteen tracks recorded at Studio Malambo, just north of La Seine, in Paris, aptly titled The Paris Session, are as vibrant as they are captivating. Like the changing seasons it ebbs and flows with piano laden ballads that frame improvisational guitar styles that convey as much beauty and emotion as the setting sun itself.

There is enough in this one album to move even the hardest of cynic, but I cannot honestly see anyone finding anything but brilliance here. Like towering spires over an already awe-striking mountain range, a few songs stand out above the others. “Hodu” is the first taste of the beautiful melodies the album brings. “Allassal Terey” feels as if the duo opened their souls to their instruments and let them dance among the keys and strings. “Diaraby,” an Ali Farka Touré song (Vieux Farka Touré’s father), is a stunning remake of a legendary work. But these are just a few of the many reasons this album needs to be high on your list to check out. To put it plainly, I have already experienced Raichel’s work, so I had an idea of what to expect; I was stunned by this record.

Perhaps “blow your mind” was too harsh a phrase to use when conveying The Touré-Raichel Collective’s recent release. Imagine your mind being freed from the chaos and overbearing distractions of everyday life by thirteen works of sheer brilliance. These works are all compiled into one, The Paris Session. Free your mind to the thought that a Jewish person and a Muslim person can construct something more inspiring, freeing, beautiful and elegant than anything you can find on TV.

GregGreg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot.