Ali and Toumani—an album of duets from two of Africa’s most distinguished musicians, the late guitarist Ali Farka Touré and kora player Toumani Diabaté—was released on February 23, 2010, on World Circuit / Nonesuch Records, and won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album. In the Heart of the Moon, the duo’s first album together, won a Grammy following its 2005 release. After the success of In the Heart of the Moon, Touré and Diabaté were invited to perform a series of concerts in Europe, before which Diabaté asked World Circuit’s Nick Gold to make studio time for them to record again. Gold, with Moon engineer Jerry Boys, recorded Ali and Toumani over three afternoons at Livingston Studios, London, in mid-2005. Less than a year later, Touré succumbed to a long illness and passed away.
Ali and Toumani includes subtle contributions from Orlando “Cachaíto” López (bass), as well as Vieux Farka Touré (congas and backing vocals), Souleye Kane (backing vocals), Ali Magasa (backing vocals), and Tim Keiper (percussion). The record became the last album recorded by Cachaíto Lopez as well.