Tinariwen Live in Paris on 2LP + Download
Traveling to exotic lands is nothing new for Tinariwen. The Saharan blues band have performed the world over bringing their signature mix of hypnotic rock guitar with the traditional instruments and vocal stylings of their native Tuareg roots to their adoring fans. But this night in Paris would be different, and this live recording captures the magic.
At the end of a long tour run of over 130 dates, the band invited a special vocalist to what would become a special celebration and a record needed to be kept, for this was the night they would perform with singer/percussionist, Lalla Badi. Badi is known for her powerful, almost hypnotic voice, and is called queen of tindé – a word that denotes both a drum (a mortar covered by a taut goatskin) played exclusively by women, and a poetic repertoire which is sung at ceremonies and special occasions. At age 75, Badi is the incarnation of Touareg femininity par excellence, the pillar of that society: free, strong, far removed from the subservience that so often exists elsewhere.
That night, under the auspices of this festive celebration of Tamashek culture, the Malian group invited everyone to celebrate the earthy, electrifying nuptials of the guitar and the tindé (small drum): A unique soirée normally reserved for more intimate spheres - around a fire in the desert in southern Algeria perhaps, or in the yard of house somewhere in the northern Mali. Touareg culture donned its finest apparel, there in the heart of Paris, in the name of communion, emotion, dance and trance.
Tinariwen pay an extraordinary homage to the grandeur and vitality of Tamashek culture. The recording of that night will no doubt remain in the annals of music, just as it will remain carved in the head and heart of its audience.