Sunday, February 13, 2011

The 2010 Grammy Winners in World Music!!

I've been watching the "Pre-Grammy Telecast Ceremony", streamed live from the Grammy Website, where a few minutes ago the winning album in the "Best Traditional World Music" category was (from my earlier posting):

4."Ali and Toumani" by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté, on World-Circuit - Nonesuch Records (World-Circuit Website and Nonesuch Website). Ali Farka Touré's Website and Toumani Diabaté's Website (in French). This recording is particularly notable in that it is the second of two between the Malian superstars Diabaté and Touré, who died in 2006; their earlier collaboration, "In the Heart of the Moon", received a Grammy Award in the same (Traditional) category in 2005, and Diabaté's album,"The Mandé Variations", received a Grammy, again in the Traditional category, in 2009. Touré himself received a Grammy in 1994 for the Best World Music Album (there was only one world music category at that time), "Talking Timbuktu", in a collaboration with protean guitarist Ry Cooder.

This year's performance is a lambent and compelling fusion of the voices of both artists, and of Touré's guitar and Diabaté's kora, a versatile harp-like instrument, popular throughout West Africa, with a large gourd as a resonating chamber and a long neck with frets. You can download a track, "Sabu Yerkoy", from this year's nominated CD, at the Nonesuch Website here.

And the winner in the Best Contemporary World Music category (again from my earlier posting), was:

1."Throw Down Your Heart, Africa Sessions Part 2: Unreleased Tracks", by Béla Fleck on Acoustic Planet Records (a new label founded by Béla Fleck himself). Artist's Website. Fleck won three Grammys last year: Best Contemporary World Music Album for "Throw Down Your Heart: Tales from the Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3: Africa Sessions (which is also the soundtrack for a film of the same name made by Fleck, Website here with option to buy DVD, and trailer here); Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the song "Throw Down Your Heart" from that album; and Best Classical Crossover Album for "The Melody of Rhythm." Fleck has probably won more Grammys (11) than any other World Music artist, and has received 27 nominations in more separate categories (in addition to the three above, Country Instrumental Performance, Contemporary Jazz Album, Bluegrass, Spoken Word, and Jazz Instrumental) than any other musician in Grammy history.

This adds yet one more honor to Béla Fleck, about whom we've previously written (for his collaboration with Abigail Washburn, and for his Grammy nomination last year, and who will warrant a future entry after this year's Grammy, and his extraordinary work in taking the banjo to new levels of collaboration and achievement.

More after tonight's ceremony!

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