Tulip Frenzy’s #9 Album of 2011: Tinariwen’s “Tassili”

In releasing Tasilli, Tinariwen did something remarkable: it seamlessly melded its Saharan response to the Delta Blues with musicians from Wilco, TV On The Radio, and the Dirty Dozen Blues Band.  We compared it to the Columbian Exchange, the cross fertilization between worlds old and new, seeds and spores crossing the Atlantic in both directions.  Somehow it was fitting that Touareg musicians who once had Gaddafi as a benefactor would release a great album just as Tripoli was liberated. While we missed the Clarksville, Mississippi ragas of their early albums, the women and kids singing around the fire, this was a fine album deserving of the acclaim it received.

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