Malian kora virtuoso Toumani Diabate, a collaborator in the Songhai and Kulanjan projects as well as the New Ancient Strings album, might just be the best player in the world on his 21-string, harplike instrument. Here, accompanied by Keletigui Diabate on balafon (a kind of xylophone) and Basekou Kouyate on ngoni, he tackles original and traditional material in beautiful fashion. Notes fall in rippling cascades from his fingers, whether on the dainty court song "Marielle" or the title track. The speed and dexterity of his playing, and of his ideas, is staggering, and his complete command of the instrument and its possibilities makes this album a joy. The trio arrangements give plenty of time to all players, although center stage is undoubtedly Toumani. While blissfully African, this is a record that transcends geography and ascends to the sublime.