Toure, Sidi – “Alafia” – [Thrill Jockey Records]
Everyone who is sick with a cold should have access to this upbeat, healing music. Toure’s voice mingles with a chorus of youngsters, backed by some pretty stringed instrument (is it a lute?) and a nice consistent gentle percussive instrument like a clacking thing. The tempo is lively and fast-paced, made to entice you off your butt and onto your feet to feel the warm earth under your feet and dance the rhythms. There is an occasional flute, and “La Paix” (5) is of course going to be my mantra. Although Wikipedia says Toure’s music is a type of Songhai blues, there is nothing blue about this. Listen, heal, enjoy.