Nguyen Le - Init

Posted By MiOd On 9:53 PM 0 comments
Nguyen Le - Init

The music industry has always tried to fit artists into easily identifiable —and marketable — categories, but some artists continue to reach beyond the constrictions placed on them. John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman took jazz to the streets and the stratosphere. Pop artists have dabbled, with arguably limited success, in hip-hop, dance and world music. Punk bands have gone country.

Nguyen Le, born in Paris to Vietnamese parents, fits most closely into the esoteric reaches of the jazz nexus. His eclecticism and experimentation — Nguyen's instrumental arsenal includes fretless guitars, guitar synths, ebows and no shortage of effects — have graced collaborations with Meshell Ndegeocello, Carla Bley and Art Lande.

It's Lande, the Boulder-based piano great who's best known for his Rubisa Patrol recordings on ECM, who set up Le's forthcoming tour and will perform duets with him onstage this coming Sunday.

"We're going to play some old tunes of our youth," says the 49-year-old Le with a chuckle, "and also some new compositions."

To date, Le's most widely recognized album is 2003's surprisingly inventive Purple: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix. Ironically, says Le, he only got into Hendrix after a festival enlisted jazz artists to perform the guitar legend's music.

"I found it rang a very deep bell inside me, so I had to continue with it," says Le, who grew up mostly listening to Western classical music, a bit of jazz and, um, Deep Purple.

"These days, in listening back to the music I used to love, I have to say I'm not such a fan of 'Smoke on the Water,'" he admits. "Now I would prefer Led Zeppelin."

As stunning as his playing is, Le never took lessons. Initially playing drums with college friends, he soon fell in love with the electric guitar.

"It's funny because I'm pretty educated, but not in music," he says. "I did study philosophy and visual arts at Sorbonne University [in Paris], but at the same time, I was studying guitar all by myself."

"I used to listen to Can when I was younger, but they disappeared," he laments. "That was very interesting music, very free and very avant garde, but still pop music. That was something we could do at the time. Now it's just impossible to be free like that."

Is that because the times have changed, or because Le has?

"Well, both, of course. But I would say the music business is way more formal. I mean, every style is a little box and it's very difficult to go from one box to another."


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MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - Electric Treasures

Posted By MiOd On 12:48 AM 0 comments
MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - Electric Treasures

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It's not uncommon to find bassists and drummers who work together so well that they become almost inseparable; often hired together because of their distinctive simpatico. It's rarer to find full groups with their own signature, expanding their vernacular by recruiting others for alternate ideas. Trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, bassist Arild Andersen and percussionist Patrice Heral have been working together since 1998 but, despite a singular aesthetic, it's their guest collaborators who have helped build a small but diverse body of work; each project blending recognizable elements and fresh perspectives.

Electric Treasures is the first time they've recorded with a keyboardist. Karta (ECM, 2000) was a largely spontaneous and more electrified affair with guitarist Terje Rypdal, while Joyosa (Enja, 2007) focused more on composition; featuring acoustic guitarist Ferenc Sentberger, with whom Stockhausen also recorded the lyrical Streams (Enja, 2007). Recorded live with keyboardist Vladyslav Sendecki, Electric Treasures shares more with Karta's in-the-moment spontaneous composition. Unlike the ECM disc however, where seven of its eleven tracks were culled and shaped from a ninety-minute free improvisation—yet were still each remarkable for their sense of individual completeness—Electric Treasures documents an entire performance from start-to-finish; a document of exactly what went down.

With little in the way of advance planning, Electric Treasure is all the more impressive for the quartet's ability to pull true form out of the ether. While vamp-based pieces act as striking vehicles for the quartet's stylistic diversity—ranging from unfettered free play and hard-swinging modality to hip-hop inflected grooves and dense, post-Miles jungle rhythms—it's when they create song-like structure that the true meaning of spontaneous composition becomes clear. Abstraction and electronics-filled landscapes turn "Electric Treasures Ten" into a stunning blend of texture and ethereal melody, but it's Stockhausen's thematic lead-in to "Eleven" that—with Andersen and Sendecki picking up on the trumpeter's implicit changes—makes it a poignant culmination to a two-disc set that, even at its most oblique, remains eminently accessible.

Stockhausen's range has never been captured so completely on a single release, moving from a rich acoustic tone to fiercely processed tonalities and the occasional brash tinge; effortlessly flowing from singable melodies to fiery post-bop phrases. Andersen, a double-bassist who cites the late electric bassist Jaco Pastorius as a seminal influence, seamlessly integrates processing and loops into a virtuosity that never sacrifices substance for style. Heral not only locks in with Andersen as if they were joined at the hip, but allows the music to take unexpected shape as his textural breadth combines with a wildly encyclopedic understanding of pulse, spanning cultures and decades. Sendecki is just as moving, a strong soloist with no shortage of the jazz tradition at play, but equally comprised of influences ranging from classical romanticism to ambient sonorities and transcendent impressionism.

Together, Stockhausen, Sendecki, Andersen and Heral make Electric Treasures a journey that can be taken as shorter side-trips, but is far more successful when absorbed in its entirety; ninety minutes of spellbinding and enlightening interplay all the better when experienced with eyes closed, ears open and mind unhindered by preconception.
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BILL LASWELL, MARK NAUSEEF, KUDSI ERGUNER, MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - No Matter

Posted By MiOd On 12:30 AM 0 comments
BILL LASWELL, MARK NAUSEEF, KUDSI ERGUNER, MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - No Matter

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Meditation Bells and gongs from Bali, Java, Korea, Japan, India, China and Tibet, where these instruments are often used to stun the mind and capture the awareness in meditation, create the matrix from which this music has developed. On this recording, a large collection of these instruments was played by Mark Nauseef. Like star constellations, the bells and gongs project from within and through the major element of this musical environment, space. This space, which has been arranged and orchestrated by chief subterranean navigator Bill Laswell, is the setting for displays of virtuosity from ney player Kudsi Erguner and trumpet player Markus Stockhausen. Laswell’s bass is the vehicle of forward movement, creating streams and clusters while all players send long lines, short phrases and single tones into space and observe subtle changes such as speed of vibration, overtones / harmonics and microtonal movement. Laswell’s beyond gaseous ambience is reflected in the title NO MATTER. As in yoga, where elements such as breath, gazing and attitude are not made of matter but are integral to good practice, this music’s essence is not a matter of form that can be described but may be experienced through complete attention and absorption by the listener. The musicians involved in this recording have had various experiences in meditative music. Master ney player Kudsi Erguner, a Mevlevi disciple, was exposed to the Mevlevi Sufi musical tradition while playing the ney in Dervish ceremonies alongside his father and has been featured on several well known recordings devoted to Sufi music. The Mevlevi order, founded in the 13th century by the great theologian Mevlana Jalalu'ddin Rumi, is the most famous of Sufi groups. The ney was / is played during ecstatic dances in trance ritual of the Mevlevi branch of Sufism known also as the "Whirling Dervishes". He has researched the music of India, Pakistan, and Turkey, founded diverse music ensembles, recorded numerous albums, and has worked with such well known artists as Peter Gabriel (Passion,US), Maurice Béjart, Peter Brook, Georges Aperghis, Didier Lockwood, and Michel Portal. Erguner has thus made authoritative contributions to World Music. He has documented and revived nearly forgotten musical traditions and brought them to the attention of the Western public, securing them a place within Europe's cultural inheritance. The son of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Markus Stockhausen, has collaborated extensively with his father and has been a featured soloist in many of his father’s operas with themes often dealing with spirituality and mythology. The main interests of Markus, as a trumpet player, are contemporary music and improvised music including his own kind of devotional, intuitive music which trancends all musical styles. In February 2003 he premiered "Jetstream" for trumpet and orchestra, which was written for him by Peter Eötvös, who also conducted the premiere in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 he premiered “Other Presences” by Jonathan Harvey for trumpet and live electronics at the Cheltenham Music Festival. In 2006 he wrote “Miniatur einer Seelenreise” for the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, which has subsequently been released on EMI classics. The classical repertoire he plays on special request only. Percussionist Mark Nauseef has a musical history that includes "hands on" research, study and performance in musical traditions ranging from the music of India, Java, Bali and Ghana to western contemporary and improvised music. Artists he has worked with include, among many others, Jack Bruce, Joachim Kühn, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Trilok Gurtu, Steve Swallow, L.Shankar, Andy Summers, The Gamelan Orchestra of Saba (Balinese Gamelan), Kyai Kunbul (Javanese Gamelan), The Velvet Underground, Ikue Mori and Lou Harrison. In addition to his own recordings, he has produced many records of various types of music including modern experimental forms as well as traditional forms. Traditional music productions include numerous recordings of traditional Balinese and Javanese music such as the acclaimed and award winning “The Music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat” which was recorded in Java. Other examples include Balinese ensemble recordings “Gamelan Batel Wayang Ramayana” and “Gender Wayang Pemarwan” which were recorded in Bali.
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MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - Sol Mestizo

Posted By MiOd On 12:05 AM 0 comments
MARKUS STOCKHAUSEN - Sol Mestizo

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The music reflects the historical development of South America from the very beginning through the hardships of the Spanish conquest up to the present day "It must have been around 1988 the first time Enrique Diaz visited me in the Cologne flat where I was then living. Having frequently heard me play the trumpet he wanted to find a way for us to make music together. Through my previous tours with Rainer Brüninghaus I had got to know his native Chile quite well and developed aliking for the South American people. Enrique and I soon became friends, performing together in various occassions. Increasingly I begun to comprehend his musical vision and I respect him as the creator of a highly personal form of music, a synthesis of South American folk, jazz and european musical cultures. In December 1991 we toured Argentinia and Chile together: out of this unforgettable experience came the first CD, TOCANDO LA TIERRA, which appeared in Germany at Jazzhaus Musik Records. The music on the present album is derived from a composition Enrique prepared for the "South Americas 500" anniversary. Initially SOL MESTIZO was a multimedia performance consisting of a slide show of South American art and nature photography, plus room installations by friendly Chilenian artists, with the music central to the presentation and reflecting the historical development of South America: this from the very beginning of time through the hardships of the Spanish conquest to the present day. This all reflected Enrique’s imagination, his knowledge of the various native cultures, his big heartness and his passion for ethnological expression. I’m delighted that SOL MESTIZO will now be released by ACT albeit in a slightly altered form, and would like to thank Siegfried Loch for his commitment to the project. May this music support the meeting of cultures, mutual understanding and above all the brotherhood of mankind". Markus Stockhausen
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WU MAN - Chinese Music for the Pipa

Posted By MiOd On 5:52 AM 0 comments
WU MAN - Chinese Music for the Pipa





WU MAN is an internationally renowned pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso, cited by the Los Angeles Times as 'the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World.' Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where she became the first recipient of a master’s degree in pipa. She currently lives in Boston where she was chosen as a Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University. Wu Man was selected by Yo-Yo Ma as the winner of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protégé Prize in music and communication. She is also the first artist from China to have performed at the White House with the noted cellist with whom she now performs as part of the Silk Road Project. Wu Man has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma, David Zinman, Yuri Bashmet, and Cho-liang Lin. In the orchestral world she has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Her touring has taken her to the major music halls of the world including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.




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LIN YOUREN - Music for the Qin Zither

Posted By MiOd On 6:48 PM 0 comments
LIN YOUREN - Music for the Qin Zither

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The Qin Zither occupies a unique position in Chinese musical culture. Its numinous reputation throughout imperial culture has persisted in modern China, with a substantial discography in inverse proportion to the tiny élite which has ever actually played the instrument. Lin Youren is one of the undoubtable contemporary and living masters of this ancient instrument.
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FAIZ ALI FAIZ - The New Voice of Qawwali

Posted By MiOd On 5:12 PM 0 comments
FAIZ ALI FAIZ - The New Voice of Qawwali

Faiz Ali Faiz The new Qawwali voice Thanks to the genuis and the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn (1948-1997), the force of qawwali is known the world over ; everyone has been waiting for a new artist with a sufficiently virtuosic talent and freedom of approach to take up Nusrat’s legacy. Here he is. Born in 1962, this young qawwal has an especially distinctive tone and vocal range which in many ways recall those of his illustrious predecessor, whose compositions he often revives. He has no scruples about distributing the ritual order so as to arouse the emotions of the audience and impose his personality as a soloist. Faiz Ali Faiz is unquestionably the major new voice of qawwali. The Qawwali : The Qawwali is a syncretic musical form from non-orthodox Islam in South Asia. The term comes from the Arabic word qaul (to say, word) and denotes both a musical genre from India and Pakistan and the actual form it takes. It is a sacred song designed to convey the message of Sufi poetry in the assemblies of auditions (sama’), with specific musical characteristics : the use of powerful male voices, with solo and chorus alternating, repetitions and improvisations by the accompanying drums and vigourous hand-clapping, the continual introduction of foreign elements ( poetic and musical quotations) into the original structure in order to reinforce the impact of the “world” on the audience and by extension, to arouse the emotion of mysticism in them, which can go as far as a state of trance.
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ABIDA PARVEEN - Visal

Posted By MiOd On 4:24 PM 0 comments
ABIDA PARVEEN - Visal

Abida Parveen Visal - The meeting Mystic Pets from the Hind and the Sind Abida Parveen is often compared to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for the dazzling quality of her voice and her vivd musical imagination allied to her utterly feminine sensibility, all used to tell the Beloved, the states that his love makes us endure. A real cult is now devoted to Abida, proof indeed of the way this immense artist gives herself over entirely to her public in her music; so long as they demand it, she is ready to go on giving the best of her gifts to serve the kalam (the Word) of the Sufi saints. Sometimes she will linger on a low note, sometimes she’ll rise to dizzy heights with vocal ornaments of dazzling virtuosity; she seems to be in a state of ecstatic communion with her audience, inspired by an energy coming directly from Him whose praises she sings. Poems from Hind and Sind This mystic poetry developed largely in the austerely beautiful countryside bordering the shrine route in the area known in ancient times as the Hind and the Sind that follows the modern-day border between India and Pakistan. At first these poems did not exist in written form. They were collected much later after the death of the saints and then transmitted orally from one generation to another. This explains how one singer’s version will differ from another; it has also given the bards a certain freedom of expression when weaving their tale. For example, if a singer wants to develop the theme of firaq (seperation), after a poem by Khawaja Ghulam Farid, he might find the needs to insert the verses of another poet into his own in order to underline he emotion he arouses. This is known as girah (literally « a knot », such as one finds in carpets).
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Gitanos de Cai Flamenco Joven 1

Posted By MiOd On 11:16 AM 0 comments
Gitanos de Cai Flamenco Joven 1





Primera entrega de "Gitanos de Cai", unos DVDs que capturan el ambiente de las genuinas juergas flamencas que tienen lugar alrededor del tablao de la finca 'La Doctora' (Cádiz). Todo el sabor de los tangos, las bulerías y los fandangos que tan queridos son en ese territorio que en la geografía del cante flamenco se denomina Cádiz y los Puertos. "Gitanos de Cai" sirve para introducir a los buenos aficionados a este arte a toda una nueva generación de intépretes llamados a protagonizar el futuro del flamenco gaditano.



01 El Bronce - Tangos

02 Mara - Bulerias

03 Nani - Fandangos

04 Jhony - Bulerias

05 Quinito - Tangos

06 Lolo - Bulerias

07 Lolito - Alegrias



| Mp3 192 kbps | 45 MB | 2007 |



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FAIZ ALI FAIZ - Hommage a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Posted By MiOd On 6:46 AM 0 comments
FAIZ ALI FAIZ - Hommage a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan



Faiz Ali Faiz..Thanks to his voice and his ability,

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has brought the power of Qawwali before the whole world. An artist with sufficient virtuosity and liberty to re-ignite the flame has long been awaited and now we have one. Born in 1962, this young Qawwal has distinguished himself by a tone and expansive vocal abilities reminiscent of his illustrious predecessor whose works he loves to copy. He doesn't hesitate to disorganise the ritual to rouse the audience and impose his personality as soloist, Faiz Ali Faiz is indisputably the great new voice of Qawwali.


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ABIDA PARVEEN - Ishq

Posted By MiOd On 6:15 AM 0 comments
ABIDA PARVEEN - Ishq



Abida Parveen Songs to the Divine Beloved

If Abida Parveen is really a cult, it is because this tremendous artist offers herself to her audience, like noone. This way to serve the Kalam (the Verb) of the Sufi saints is often compared to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Sometimes staying on a low note, sometimes producing sounds of an extraordinary virtuosity, she is always transformed by energy, seemingly inspired by He of whom she sings the praises in ecstatic communion with her audience. One for her dazzling voice and her musical imagination allied with a totally feminine, delicate statement to the divine Beloved.



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Rabih Abou-Khalil - Arabian Waltz

Posted By MiOd On 12:01 AM 0 comments
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Ah, strings! The greatest jazz musicians have aspired to recording with them - often with less than spectular results. It's as if even masters like Charlie Parker were bedevilled by some lingering insecurity about their music. Only playing along-side violin, cello and viola, with the instruments of the great European musical tradition, it seems, can afford the final confirmation and seal of classic status.

Any such misgivings vanish soon after beginning to listen to Rabih Abou-Khalil's latest venture. For a start he has chosen to record with the Balanescu Quarter who are immediately identifiable by the distance they are willing to put between themselves and their classical training (Pace their versions of Kraftwerk songs). For leader Alex Balanescu, in any case, the classical element was only part of a larger musical formation that included the gypsy folk tradition of his native Romania. More to the point, the Balanescu Quarter are not backing Abu-Khalil - are not, so to speak, playing second fiddle to him - but recording in collaboration with him.

Not withstanding this there was still a lot of ground to cover if the Balanescu Quarter and Abu-Khalil's trio were to come together as a single unit, a cohe-sive band in its own right. The night before they began recording this album they played a gig in Karlsruhe, Germany. It was full of Promise and daring but, at the same time, hesitant, tentative. You could hear the two outfits, tiptoeing around each other in kerouac's famous phrase, like heart-breaking new friends.
What Abou-Khalil did in the course of further rehearsals and recordings was a bind the strings more tightly round his own unique musical amal-gam of occidental and oriental influences. linking them is the element most conspicuously lacking in the history of European of the string quarter: rhythm.

Which brings us to Abou-Khalil's long-time collaborator, Nabil Khaiat. the first rock groups I ever saw, in the seventies, feautured massive drum kits: if you could actually see the drumer then - or so these vast terraces of percussion seemed to imply - he couldn't be much of a drumer. Something of the spirit lives on in world music today with percussionists' fonness for flaunting their virtuosity by playing - at the same time - as many different drums and bells as there are African languages, The great percussionists, though, can coax the most intricate of rhythms from the simplest of instruments, like the frame drums played by Nabil. His fingers gallop like hooves. From a standing start - silence - he creates a rhythm that engulfs and guides.

Not that rhythm is the preserve of the percussionist alone: Abou-khalil had written different rhythmic lines for each of the strings. In effect the members of the Balanescu Quarter were playing solos, in dividual fragments that make up a surging collective rhythm. Abou-Khalil wrote these parts without knowing if the quarter could play them. Michel Godard, apparently, though not. For his part, Abu-Khalil though that even a virtuoso like Godard would struggle to play the parts he had written for the tuba. As you can hear, they were both wrong. There are echoes of Thelonious Monk's approach here: writing the music as it would ideally be heard with no concessions as to whether musicians would be able to realise that ideal. As far as monk was concerned the music was there, in the instruments, and it was up to the musicians to get it out.

I want to change approaches here, to take Monk at his word, as it were, and to do this I need you not only to listen to the musicians but to watch - to see them, as it were, through my eyes. Look how much time Nabil, Godard and Abou-Khalil have. Whatever the tempo, however complex the time signature they are playing, they are never hurried.
Compared with what they are capable of their fingers are surrounded by deserts of time. Notice, too, their stillness. I remember rock drummers throwing themselves round their kits but Nabil. in particular, is all but motionless. This is a residue of the etiquette of performance in Syria where the drummer must do nothing to distract attention from the singer. Still, one wonders if holding the body still like this is a way of ensuring that none of the rhythm is dissipated. Unable to escape, to leak via the head or feet, it's only egress is the hands and fingers through which it pours. Such is the musicians' stillness, in fact, that they seem less to be producing music than to be listening, waiting. To what? For what? Perhaps the answer becomes clear when I say that their attitude reminds me, above all, of people fishing.

Musicians arrive in a recording studio. They assemble their instruments, engineers arrange recording equipment and then, together, they record various takes until they have enough music for an album. This is literally what happens. Watching these musicians, however, a different process - or a different way of evoking the process - suggests itself.

As the moment to record a piece of music draws near everyone in the studio becomes quiet. The air itself seems to become more silent, as if something were about like shape within it, as if the music were about to appear. Imagine, then, that instead of music being made by musicians they have, instead, to catch it. More precisely still, imagine that the music on this record was in the world, was - to borrow Eric Dolphy's enigmatic invocation - in the air. It offered itself to the musicians in the form of a rendezvous in Baden which would be kept only if certain very elaborate and highly contingent conditions were met. These conditions were historical, geographical and individual. Historically, the period of jazz advancing as jazz had to have come close to exhausting itself. Geographically, there had to be some kind of melting point - somewhere akin in spirit to "neutral" Switzerland in the second World War - where the musicians could meet not as equals but on equal terms. Individually, the musicians had to have advanced to a very high degree in their technical develoment; ideally, like Michel Godard, they would would be at home anywhere, in any setting. If all these conditions were met then, in the studio, the chances were that if the participants were attentive and patient, this elusive music could be not so much made as called into being or - to revert to that fishing metaphor - reeled in.

I have left out the single most important condition for the distillation of the music preserved on Arabian Waltz. this is that Abou-khalil himself had to have arrived at the point where his own musical achievement - as composer, arranger and instrumentalist - was substantial enough to constitue its own tradition. That is to say, the point where the greatest influence on his music is his own work. Having created a considerable body of music that is unlike anyone else's, Abou-khalil is now able to draw sustenance from a tradition which did not exist before he invented it. We can hear clearly on this album how two songs from his own back catalogue ('Dreams Of A Dying City' and "Ornette Never Sleeps') serve the same function as standards, as Ellington's 'Caravan' did on his own earlier Roots And Sprouts. for example: not to be re-recorded but re-invented, re-invoked.

But it is actually the title of one of the new pieces,'No Visa' that comes closest to summing up Abou-Khalil's ambition and achievement. Its appropriateness to his work becomes especially clear if a distinction between bordersand frontiers is kept in mind. A characteristic of the modern state is that it is defined by established borders which are precise and readily identifiable. A common characteristic of classical musicians is, likewise, a reluctance to venture beyond the borders of their elected form. Abou-Khalil, though, is drawn to frontiers which - in contrast to borders - are not settled or definitively fixed but shiffting, contestable. More exactly, he is preoccupied by a single forntier, the one that has attracted all great artists and pioneers: the frontier of the possible.
Geoff Dyer,1996
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ROSS DALY & TRIO CHEMIRANI - Archives

Posted By MiOd On 5:03 PM 0 comments
Ross Daly, the master of cretan lyra, performs here with the Trio Chemirani and four other musicians. A unique concert with musical roots in Crete, Greece and Transcaucasia.

Born in England in 1952, of Irish origin, Ross Daly began his travels at a very early age. His first instrument was the cello which he began when his family lived in America, which was followed by studies of classical guitar which began in Japan. He later encountered Indian music, which immediately drew his interest. He subsequently studied the Indian sitar, the Afghan rabab, the Turkish saz and oud.
In 1975 he moved to Crete where he studied the lyra with its great master Kostas Moudakis.
«I did not chose Crete, I have more of an impression that the lyra ‘chose’ me. When I arrived, the lyra was not taught in music schools. I followed the teaching of its greatest living virtuoso for sixteen years. I have always believed that, in the case of traditional instruments, you must first learn the instrument and its repertoire in the traditional manner before you start to work as an innovator».
In 1982 Ross Daly founded the group Labyrinth, which initially was dedicated to experimental work on Cretan music. Labyrinth gradually developed into a musical workshop which involved a large number of diverse participants and, in 1987 it moved to Athens, where its interests broadened considerably to include a wide variety of different musical traditions from the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. Ross Daly’s music has its roots in the music of Greece, Turkey, Transcaucasia, the Middle East and North India. He performs numerous concerts all over the world, playing with musicians coming from all corners of the world.

He played for the third time at the Theatre de la Ville, Paris in 2003, with Chemirani Trio. Djamchid Chemirani, the father, was born in Iran in 1942. He moved to France at the age of nineteen. He was initiated to the zarb by the Iranian great master Hossein Teherani. Djamchid Chemirani is considered one of the best players of the zarb.
His sons Keyvan and Bijan, who learnt the zarb from their father, first developed their own musical projects. Only recently have they decided to perform as a trio.

Ross Daly lyra, rabab, saz, tarhu
Djamchid Chemiran zarb
Keyvan Chemirani zarb, bender, udu
Bijan Chemirani zarb, daf, bender
Stelios Petrakis lyra, saz, kopuz, laouto
Pericles Papapetropoulos saz, laouto
Kelly Thoma lyra
Angelina Tkatcheva tsimbal (santur)

1. Earpigon, Jurjuna, Houdetsanes kontylies, Pentozalis
2. Synavgeia
3. Abacus
4. Makrinitsa

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ROSS DALY - Naghma

Posted By MiOd On 4:49 PM 0 comments
This "Voyage en Orient" is a coming together of talented and passionate musicians who interpret music from traditions as distant and diverse as the Himalayas and Greece, a passage through India, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.

In this journey one can come to discover some of the many sounds, rhythms, moods and colours that can be found along the way: the subtle, refined atmosphere of the Mogul Courts of Northern India, the river songs of Bengal, the echoes from the heights of the Himalayas through the valleys of Kashmir and Afghanistan, the intimacy and elegance of Persian art music, the rich Ottoman culture and colourful tradional music of Turkey and finally the wonderful rhythmic vitality of Cretan dances.

Ross Daly's journey in the music of the world is inseparable from the course of his life. Of Irish descent, born in England, he travelled as a child with his family around the world and soon his deep interest in music emerged. His first instrument was the cello, which he studied in his childhood years in America. He later began studying the classical guitar in Japan at the age of eleven. The late sixties found him in San Francisco, where having experienced both the classical discipline and the air of freedom and experimentation of the time, he first encountered Eastern musical traditions which completely changed his life. Of particular interest to him was Indian Classical music which was destined to be the first non-western tradition that he actively studied. The ensuing years found him travelling extensively studying a variety of instruments and traditions. At that time his main emphasis was on Indian and Afghani music. In 1975 he travelled to Crete which he had previously visited for a short time in 1970 and 1972 where he had been greatly impressed by the lyra (a small pear-shaped upright fiddle which is the primary folk instrument of the island). After a six month period of wandering from village to village encountering local musicians, He settled in the town of Hania on the west of the island and began studying the Cretan Lyra with its great master Kostas Mountakis. This apprenticeship was to last for many years. During this same time he frequently visited Turkey where he studied Ottoman classical music as well as Turkish folk music. After many years of intensive training in a variety of musical traditions, Ross Daly turned his attention largely to composition drawing heavily on the various sources that he had studied. Today he has released more than twenty five albums of his own compositions as well as of his own versions of traditional melodies that he collected during his travels. The island of Crete in Greece still provides a base for his personal and musical research as he travels around the world performing his music. A master multi-instrumentalist himself, Ross Daly has repeatedly teamed with master musicians from all over the world working within the musical discipline of the Eastern traditions while at the same time freely exploring new forms and creative improvisation. A virtuoso of Eastern musical instruments, he plays the Cretan lyra, Afghan rabab, tarhu, laouto, kemence, oud, saz and tanbur. A unique composer, Ross Daly, builds his compositions around the subtle but powerful interaction between the sound textures of the various traditions which he has studied. His close personal relationship with the musicians he works with is of paramount importance to Ross Daly himself as he believes that it is this inner connection which brings music alive. The unique sound of his music reflects his personal philosophy, influenced by the Sufi tradition which stresses the sacred nature of music itself, the enormous power contained within it, and the necessity for those who concern themselves with it to unreservedly and selflessly give themselves to it. This process results in an experience of music of a transcendental and spiritual nature, equally shared by musicians and audience alike, which has nothing to do with the fashions of "World Music" or "Ethnic". Ross Daly's music provides something that is increasingly difficult to find in modern times: a sense of continuity and unity. Sharing in the essence of a music that really has no physical boundaries is a magical experience that stands outside of time and space, connecting the natural flow of ancient traditions with the most complex needs of today's audiences. He has collaborated with some of the most important musicians from all over the world such as: Habil Aliev, Djamchid Chemirani, Omer Erdogdular, Munir Bashir, Kostas Mountakis, Nikos Xylouris, Huun Huur Tu, Stelios Foustalierakis, Dhruba Ghosh, Rakesh Chaurasia, Shubankar Bannerjee, Vassilis Soukas, Ballake Sissoko, Mehmet Erenler, Talip Ozkan, Matthew Barley, Hossein Omoumi, Mohammad Rahim Khushnawaz, Khaled & Hossein Arman, Necati Celik, Goksel Baktagir, Derya Turkan, Georgi Petrov, Naseer Shamma and many more. Apart from his intense concert activity in festivals all over the world with his group Labyrinth, which he established in 1982, Daly is particularly known for the creation and artistic direction of large multi-ethnic music groups with the participation of musicians coming from many different traditions and for his rich and impressive compositions and orchestrations that emerge from the collaborations of all these musicians. Some of the most well known projects of this nature are IRIS (Greece, India, Iran) and The White Dragon (Tuva, Iran, Greece). In Summer 2004 he was the artistic director of the cultural program of the Olympic Games for the Olympic city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, titled “Crete, Music Crossroads”. He organized and artistically supervised 15 concerts with the participation of 300 musicians from all over the world. Amongst others there were musicians of international fame as : Jordi Savall, Eduardo Niebla, Huun Huur Tu, Habil Aliev, Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Mohammad Rahim Khushnawaz, Trio Chemirani, Adel Selameh and many others. Since 2003 he is the artistic director of the Musical Workshop Labyrinth www.labyrinthmusic.gr, in the village of Houdetsi in the Heraklion province of Crete in Greece, where concerts, seminars and master classes are organized every summer. Each year hundreds of students from all continents arrive in Houdetsi in order to study with some of the most renowned teachers of traditional music. Also Ross Daly’s impressive collection of more than 200 instruments which he has collected over the years during his travelling is permanently on exhibition in the building of Labyrinth.

1. Naghma bairami
2. Saz semai
3. Dipat
4. Raga tilak kamod
5. Avaz-e-bayat-e-esfahan
6. Shaghayegh
7. Goftegou
8. Syrtos of Skordalos
9. Bhatiyali dhun: boatman's song

Paul Grant: santur, tabla, tabla tarang
Ross Daly: rubab, dutar, saz, lyra, tarhu
Nayan Ghosh: sitar, tabla
Bijan Chemirani: zarb, daf
MP3 320 kbps including full scans

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JIANG TING - Dance

Posted By MiOd On 7:16 AM 0 comments
JIANG TING - Dance



"Dance" is the second album by Chinese Pipa virtuoso Jiang Ting. More accessible than her solo debut on MA ("Voice of the Pipa" - M061A), the album includes some of the most famous music in contemporary Chinese culture, including a unique duet arrangement of "The Olive Tree", the 1970's movie theme known to virtually every modern Chinese. In this recording Jiang Ting also makes her singing debut, the lyrics as follows:

Don't ask where I come from, my hometown is far away

Why do you room, roam so far?

For the little birds flying In the sky

For the softly flowing streams In the mountains

For the broad grasslands

I roam, roam so far

And for the olive tree,

The olive tree in my dreams

Don't ask where I come from, my hometown is far away

Why do you roam, roam so far?

For the olive tree in my dreams

As with Jiang Ting's first recording, "Dance" was recorded in the same Italian church situated on a mountain in the countryside near the medieval town of Lucca. However, unlike her first album, which was recorded at 96 kHz, this new release was recorded at 176.4 kHz with 24 bit resolution technology. For this new recording as well, she acquired a new Pipa which is richer in harmonics.

Finally, but just as important, is the guest appearance by Jia Pengfang, the famous Er Hu/Chinese violin player who lives & concertizes in Japan.



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JIANG TING - The Voice of the Pipa

Posted By MiOd On 7:14 AM 0 comments
JIANG TING - The Voice of the Pipa



Jiang Ting/Voice of the Pipa

With a history of more than 2000 years, the Chinese Pipa is one of that culture`s oldest and most elegant instruments. When first seen in China, (having arrived from India by way of the Silk Road sometime during the Han and Tang Dynasties), the Pipa, being a plucked instrument, was verbally described to sound like “pi~pa~pi~pa.”.

Originally round, the Pipa was a highly regarded instrument of the court. Over the centuries however, with influence from Iran, the current pear shape evolved and the Pipa became more widely accepted and heard in entertainment and ritual genres outside the court.

While the four strings, tuned A D E A, were originally made of silk, the modern 3 octave Pipa uses steel strings, allowing for more projection and volume. The number of frets has increased over the years, the most common Pipa now having 26 frets and 6 ledges. The frets are very deeply cut, allowing for the player to bend notes by depressing the strings, as opposed to bending them sideways as in western guitar performance. The modern player, almost always female, uses her nails, (now almost always artificial) in performance techniques that have evolved over the centuries to include 1) Backward and forward four finger tremolo strumming 2) Harmonics 3) Pizzicato 4) Fretted pitch bending

The shallow body of the Pipa is made of hollowed out, varnished teak, while the soundboard is made of wutong wood (firmiana plantanifolia). There are two tuning pegs on each side of the neck, the top of which is almost always carved, depicting a flower, dragon head, phoenix tail, bat or other abstract design. In contemporary performance, the Pipa is perpendicularly placed on the left part of the seated performer`s lap, while the neck and head are positioned close to the performers left ear. More ancient practice dictates a more horizontal positioning of the instrument.

Of Chinese heritage, Jiang Ting was born in Inner Mongolia in the beginning of the 1970`s. Her Pipa studies commenced when she was seven years old, her first teacher being her mother. At the age of ten, she went alone to Beijing to continue her studies, starting in the primary school associated with the Central State Conservatory. In 1996 she won first prize in the national Pipa performance contest, receiving her Conservatory graduation certificate in 1997. Since July 1997, Jiang Ting been living in Japan where she has performed with orchestras, on television and continues to concertise throughout the country.

“Voice of the Pipa” is Jiang Ting`s first recording outside of China, where her debut was released in the late 1990`s. The project was recorded in a small church, “Chiesa di S. Colombano” in the mountains outside the beautiful city of Lucca, in the Toscana region of Italia.

Explainations of the Pieces:

"A Bride Beyond the Great Wall" (ancient traditional) This old piece is based on the famous story of Wang Zhaojun, a woman who lived during the Han dynasty who was sent to 'Sai-wai' (the northern frontier beyond the Great Wall) to marry for political reasons, with a king of the nomadic 'Xiongnu' tribe. Wang Zhaojun is famous as one of the 'Four Beauties' of ancient China and was also very good at playing the pipa. The story goes that she missed her family and played the pipa every night, longing for her hometown. The tune deeply expresses the loneliness she experienced during her life in cold 'Sai-wai.'

"Pleading" - from "Ballad of Pipa" (composed by Wu Houyuan) A long epic poem, "Ballad of Pipa" is a masterpiece by Bai Juyi who lived during the Tang dynasty. This ancient tale depicts an old woman who was once famous for her pipa performance in the Emperor's Court, However, her status is diminished and she deplores her own existence while solemnly playing her pipa alone. Bai Juyi, who was in the depths of political despair, associated her music with her own life. Wu Houyuan was deeply impressed by this poem and composed "Pleading." Mr. Wu, an accomplished pipa player, was quite successful in utilizing the pipa's characteristic technique in this work.

"The Spirit of Calligraphy" (composed by Chen yi) This is a modern pipa composition written in the late 20th century. Ms. Chen tries expressing the spirit of Chinese calligraphy thru completely different artistic measures - pipa music. 'Kai-shu,' a type of Chinese calligraphy, consists of eight ways of writing with the Calligrapher's brush holding, raising, suspending, subduing, softening, strengthening, unhurrying, and hurrying. Each of these writing "features" is expressed through various playing techniques of the pipa.

"Caprice" (composed by Jiang Ting) Jiang Ting holds her pipa and just plays what crosses her mind naturally.

"The Last Hero's Ballad" (ancient traditional) This piece describes the battle between 'Chu' and 'Han' in 202 B.C. At this battle, the unbeatable 'Chu' hero, Xiang Yu, was finally defeated by Liu Bang of the 'Han.' Xiang Yu bade farewell to his beloved Lady Yu and killed himself by the Wujiang River. The atmosphere is tragic throughout the piece, allowing one to vividly imagine the battle field through the many exotic sounds of the pipa.

"Green Waist" Dance Music (composed by Yang Jieming) "Green Waist" is a famous dance piece of the Tang dynasty era with the numerous kinds of dance steps expressed through the pipa`s performance techniques.





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NAHAWA DOUMBIA - Yankaw

Posted By MiOd On 7:09 AM 0 comments
NAHAWA DOUMBIA - Yankaw


NahawaDoumbia Discovered by employees of the Ministry of Culture while she was singing with a group of her friends, Doumbia participated in the "Youth Weeks", first on the local level and then nationally. In 1980 she took part in the "Youth Biennale" in Bamako and shared the prize with Tinye De Be Laban. She then entered the Radio France Internationale "Discovery" competition, which she won in 1981. With Yankaw, an album dedicated to all those with immigration problems, the queen of didadi (a rhythm from her native region of Mali) has opted for a return to the tradition of wassoulou, the musical style drawing on the hunter''s traditions and characterized by the use of the kamelen'goni (youth's harp) and a more acoustic, earthy sound. In 2004 the elegant singer joined forces with two outstanding French artists in two separate projects that allowed her to reach new audiences. Doumbia first worked with blind keyboardist Jean-Philippe Rykiel for her recording “Diby”. She was then invited to be part of the ambitious yet successful project around the voice by French-Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani. It was called “Le Rythme de la Parole” and allied the Malian’s voice with those of Ali Reza Ghorbani and Sudha Ragunathan.

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DJELLI MOUSSA DIAWARA - Sobindo

Posted By MiOd On 6:25 AM 0 comments
DJELLI MOUSSA DIAWARA - Sobindo

Djeli Moussa Diawara (also known as Jali Musa Jawara) is a master musician and one of the leading players of the kora, the 23-string west African harp. The son of musicians, brother to Mory Kante and cousin to Kante Manfila, he has a rich heritage and a deep sense of tradition. He also has an exploratory mind. In his previous work, Sobindo, he fused electronics and various musical styles into his Manding heritage to great effect, but this new recording is a quiet, contemplative, but no less daring exploration. Don't let the title confuse you, this is not a fusion flamenco project, but an investigation into the north African music that gives rise to the Moorish music of Spain. This is an all-acoustic project, concentrating on Moussa Diawara's voice and kora. In fact, as much as it seems like there are guitars, percussion, and bass adding to the sound, this is achieved almost exclusively by the kora, a testament to the innovative technique and incredible skill of this artist
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DJELLI MOUSSA DIAWARA - Flamenkora

Posted By MiOd On 5:59 AM 0 comments
DJELLI MOUSSA DIAWARA - Flamenkora

Djeli Moussa Diawara
Guinean singer and composer Djeli Mousa Diawara is foremost among world players of the Kora, the African harp-lute of the Manding peoples of the Senegambia. Born in Guinea in 1961 into a family whose musical roots span generations, his father was a famous player of the balafon (Africa's wooden cousin to the xylophone), and his mother sang. He joined his family as a member of the djeli (or jali) caste - the honored griots who carry a tradition of reciting town news through improvised lyrics and melody on the kora. Like his half-brother, Mory Kante, and cousin, Kante Manfila, he was drilled by his elders in music, instrumental technique and a millennium's worth of oral history and genealogies. The kora is a demanding instrument, consisting of two parallel rows of strings attached to a notched bridge on a resonating gourd, and Djeli's confident command of it is the result of a lifetime of study and practice. He learned the fine points of playing the kora from a brilliant performer named Batourou Sekou and gradually forged an individual style. In the late 70s, Djeli visited Abidjan, Ivory Coast and performed for a time with the legendary Rail Band in Bamako, Mali. He eventually went solo, working with Djenne Doumbia, a remarkable singer who later graced Salif Keita's band. A British label put out his first LP, "Yasimika," in 1983 and it is revered today as one of the finest African albums of all time. Following a series of false starts, he began to record for the Paris-based Melodie label, and his works were rapturously received by the press and public. His mid-nineties release FLAMENKORA is a richly diverse set that underscores the shared Moorish roots of Flamenco and the djeli tradition, combining sultry, Latin-tinged dance grooves with song of the ancient Manding Empire. With a simple palette of kora and voice, Djeli Moussa Diawara has fashioned his heritage into sounds and emotions that speak eloquently to a contemporary audience.
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MAMADOU DIABATE - Heritage

Posted By MiOd On 12:57 AM 0 comments
MAMADOU DIABATE - Heritage

Mamadou Diabate is a master of the kora, the ancient 21-string West African harp. He was born in Kita, Mali, a city long known as a center for the arts and culture of the Manding people of West Africa. As his last name indicates, he comes from a family of griots, or jelis as they are known among the Manding, who are traditional historians, genealogists, and story-tellers as well as musicians. Mamadou’s father taught him to play the kora as a child, and from there he listened and watched, and devoted himself to practicing the instrument. Before long, Mamadou was playing kora for local jeli singers throughout the region at ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms. At sixteen he went to Bamako, where under the tutelage of his famous cousin, Toumani Diabate, he worked the jeli circuit and entertained the powerful at the city's posh Amitié Hotel. After touring the US in 1996 as part of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali, Mamadou decided to stay in the US and now calls it home. He performs nationally and internationally as a soloist, as well as leading the Mamadou Diabate Ensemble, which includes himself on kora, Balla Kouyate on balafon, Baye Kouyate on talking drum and calabash, and Noah Jarrett on bass. Mamadou Diabate has collaborated broadly with jazz musicians from Donald Byrd to Randy Weston, as well as popular figures from Afropop star Angelique Kidjo and Zimbabwean legend Thomas Mapfumo to blues mavericks Taj Mahal and Eric Bibb, and even the jam band Donna the Buffalo. He gets frequent invitations to perform with visiting Malian stars including grand divas such as Ami Koita, Tata Bambo Kouyate, Kandia Kouyate, and Babani Koné. Since 2000, Mamadou Diabate has released three CDs, one of which, Behmanka (World Village), was nominated for a Grammy in 2005.
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MAMADOU DIABATE - Behmanka

Posted By MiOd On 12:44 AM 0 comments
MAMADOU DIABATE - Behmanka

No other traditional instrument symbolizes the music of the “Mande” cultural region of Western Africa as much as the kora does, the African harp-lute. Its bell-like sound is just as unmistakable as its visual image: a long wooden neck attached to a soundboard made from a large calabash, with a wide bridge anchoring two rows of right-angled strings. The kora proudly symbolizes the richness of African musical traditions. Mamadou Diabate from Mali is a true kora master who bears a last name that comes as an obligation to commit oneself to the music and its traditional importance. Mamadou’s cousin Toumani Diabate is the most famous kora virtuoso of his generation. During the course of his great career, Toumani turned the kora into a powerful solo instrument, playing both melody and accompaniment at the same time. Now Mamadou follows track with an album that exclusively features solo pieces for kora. While the music to be heard on BEHMANKA remains true to the Diabate family tradition, it also is a testament to Mamadou’s individuality as a player and his desire to enrich the purity of the tradition with a contemporary kind of vitality and innovation. The musical result is marked by an atmosphere of great intensity and communicates a magical aura that’s simply irresistable. Just like the other famed kora players of his family, Mamadou Diabate is a jeli (griot). He stands at the end of a long line of professional musicians who have been an integral part of traditional African culture for many centuries. Traditionally, a jeli has been either a court-musician or a minstrel, born into a specific caste. Within the hierarchical structure of African societies, a jeli is a craftsman with special obligations and privileges concerning his relationship towards the upper caste of “nobles” and “freeborn”. For centuries, a jeli mostly worked for a patron who belonged to the aristocracy. He acted as a messenger of important information but was also expected to fashion songs of praise or to embellish social ceremonies with his art. To this day a jeli remains a highly respected figure because of his artistic prowess, even if his social functions have been changed somewhat. Ever since the Malian empire came to an end in the late 15th century and colonialism brought social change to traditional African society, a jeli’s art is also used for illustrating family rituals like weddings or baptisms. He may also work for businessmen or politicians or act as a mediator in a situation of conflict between individuals. A jeli is expected to guard his secret knowledge and be conscious about his special social status. While a great number of songs of praise have been fashioned by jelis in the past, an attitude of deference towards authorities is not desired. He is expected to be a proud man who is aware of his special importance. Moreover, the handing down of legends orally still remains an important part of African culture, with the jeli as a central figure, a moral authority and keeper of traditional social attitudes. He is expected to communicate a sense of history through his music, especially concerning the glories of the Malian empire, a past that stretches back into the 13th century. Traditionally, a jeli’s musical education starts in his own family. He is taught the traditional repertoire of songs and is expected to acquire musical skills. This holds true for Mamadou Diabate as well. He was born in 1975 in Kita, one of Mali’s cultural centers for the Manding people. Mamadou’s father Djelimory Diabate was a great kora player known as N’fa Diabate and a member of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali. N’fa took part in many of the ensemble’s recordings for Malian National Radio and lived in Bamako where the ensemble was based. When he was just four years old, Mamadou lived with his father for a while, listening to the sound of the kora on a daily basis. It was then Mamadou became aware of the fact that the instrument would be his destiny. As a teenager Mamadou went public as a kora player in his own right, travelling his home region, accompanying singers, playing weddings and baptisms. When he was just fifteen, he won a regional competition and turned into a local celebrity. An apprenticeship in Bamako with his cousin Toumani was next and Mamadou’s ever-increasing performance schedule soon included more and more upscale work. He even acquired a nickname because of his height: “djelika djan” – tall jeli. In 1996, Mamadou Diabate had the chance of joining the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali for a US tour. He decided to stay in the United States and has been doing so ever since, living in Durham/North Carolina with his family. Mamadou has performed in some of the most prestigious institutions ranging from the United Nations to the Smithsonian in Washington DC. He has worked with blues musicians Eric Bibb and Guy Davis, jazzmen Randy Weston and Donald Byrd and folk/pop musicians like Ireland’s Susan McKeown or Angélique Kidjo from Benin. However, his father’s advice of paying special attention to all the great kora players has always remained Mamadou’s special interest. He has acquired a profound knowledge of the tradition and this knowledge is still central to his art today. He may also be an innovator of considerable importance but the Malian “keita” tradition of playing the kora has remained. Mamadou’s present style is marked by a magical combination of depth of spirit, technical brilliance and a tendency towards improvisation. It is for good reason that African folklore includes the legend of kora players being possessed by spirits sometimes, especially when playing at night. It’s a legend somewhat connected to the blues myth, wherein players make a pact with the devil to be able to play the blues. “Tunga”/”Adventure” was the name of Mamadou’s debut album released in 2000. It featured ensemble playing of the highest calibre and included some breathtakingly innovative ideas. While the sound to be heard on BEHMANKA is pure kora, the fusing of various traditions and playing techniques remains. Mamadou Diabate may be a player with one eye on the past and one on the present, but his creative outlook is firmly directed into the future. The music to be heard on BEHMANKA presents a contemporary version of the expressive powers and spiritual depth of African music, performed by a true master musician.
1. Touma Moment. Everything has its moment in time. 2. Jamanadiera I expanded on this traditional song taught to me by my father, N’fa Diabate, and here I play it in my own style. It means both hospitality and beautiful town. 3. Behmanka I grew up listening to my grandfather play Behmanka on the ngoni and my father playing it on kora. It is played by griots to honor Alfa Yaya Jalloh, king of the Futa Jallon region in Guinea. Here I infuse this traditional melody with my creative variations. 4. Koraboloba Big hand of the Kora. The traditional version of this song is called Kuruntu Kelefa, which honors two kings of Gabu, Sanneh and Manneh. Using the original base line as my foundation, I add unique melodies and solos on top. 5. Kita Baro Kita is my birthplace and Baro recalls the communal pastime of coming together, sitting, talking, playing music, dancing, enjoying each other's company. Griots believe that opening the traditional ceremony with this song brings good luck. 6. Jarrabeekele My loved one. When looking for a loved one, men and women should seek someone who is a good match. 7. Sansenefoly Honors the great farmers, celebrates their productivity and their important contribution to society. My father was the first kora player to record „Sansenefoly“ for National Radio in the 1960s and here I kept the traditional style. 8. Djimbaseh Taking creative license, I play this lively dance tune, which was brought to Mali by way of Cassamance, Senegal, and is influenced by Senegal’s trademark dance, Sabar.
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TOUMANI DIABATE - Kaira

Posted By MiOd On 11:22 PM 0 comments
TOUMANI DIABATE - Kaira

Toumani Diabate, like Foday Musa Suso, is regarded as one of the greatest living virtuosos on the kora, the 21-string West African harp-lute. Coming from a prominent musical family in the country of Mali, Diabate showcases his reputation as an inventive and lyrical performer on Kaira, his first solo album. The five pieces represent some of the classic kora works, and, at five to ten minutes in length, they allow Diabate plenty of time to stretch out and reveal his dazzling virtuosity. The tunes are all built around a solid bassline and a basic melodic theme around which Diabate improvises, producing a richly ornamented sound that is lively, fluid and captivating.
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TOUMANI DIABATE & BALLAKE SISSOKO - New & Ancient Strings

Posted By MiOd On 5:25 PM 0 comments
TOUMANI DIABATE & BALLAKE SISSOKO - New & Ancient Strings

Listeners who celebrate the music of today would do well to appreciate its roots. In the case of West African music, that means turning from Afro-pop and Afro-beat back to the traditional music of the Ancient Empire of Mali. The kora, a 21-stringed harp whose history dates back to the 13th century, is represented here. In the modern age, the kora has been eagerly adopted by jazz, flamenco, and electronic music. (Witness Mamadou Diabate's key role on Ben Allison's recent Peace Pipe.) That makes sense, given that the instrument has long been used in the context of vocal duets.

Toumani Diabate and Ballake Sissoko are two masters who inherited their musicianship from their fathers through a distant jeli lineage that spans centuries. (The title refers to the very first kora instrumental record, Ancient Strings, which was recorded by their fathers in 1970.) They have been next door neighbors in Balako, Mali their whole life. It's only logical, therefore, that they have the kind of mutual understanding that renders justification irrelevant.

New Ancient Strings conveys a blissful sense of peace and devotion. Far from the vacuous tendencies of modern music's "contemporary" or "smooth" sounds, New Ancient Strings has the kind of depth that sounds most natural when delivered through understatement. The third track, "Kita Kaira," opens with a sparkling, rippling series of cascades, and then melds into a sparse, paced conversational tone. It's a perfect reflection of the word "Kaira," which means "peace."

The open harmonies of the instrument lend a spacious backdrop for melody, which evolves as a series of phrases that undergo development and reinvention throughout each piece. Regular embellishments (trills, accidentals, runs) lend a sort of baroque feel to the music, also endowing it with a sense that the music is very much created in the moment. While these tunes have storied histories, they come back to life through improvisation. And along with improvisation comes conversation, only a natural extension of these two players' relationship in real life. "Bafoulabe" offers an interesting rhythmic touch through regular tapping of the kora's resonant body. "Kadiatou" sounds the most danceworthy, with its stuttering rhythms and lilting feel.

Diabate is something of a kora ambassador to the world. He's brought the rich sounds of his instrument far outside his home country. And he's branched out—into flamenco, for example. There's no dictum against evolution. But here Diabate and Sissoko remind us of the timeless purity of tradition. Incidentally, New Ancient Strings was recorded on September 22, 1997, which is Mali's independence day. Doesn't that tell you something?

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Cheikha Rimitti - Sidi Mansour

Posted By MiOd On 12:02 AM 0 comments
Cheikha Rimitti - Sidi Mansour
Alt text
Time - 1920's. Place - Oran. This western Algerian port, melting pot of Mediterranean musics, is where RAi, the meditative chant of Bedouin shepards, went urban. It was in a nearby village where RIMITTI made her dancing debut with a musical troupe that zigzagged western Algeria. The horrors of war and the epidemics that scourzed the region inspired her first verses and led her to a career in music. In 1936, she recorded her first albums with Pathe, a french record company.
CHEIKHA ("CRAZY") RIMITTI, as she is known throughout Algeria, elevated Rai to new neights, rescuing it from what some categorized as "unrefined" due to its sensual nature (love, alcohol, joys and pain of daily life).

RIMITTI, NOW 70 YEARS OLD, has retained youthful voice and still performs on stage, from Algeria to France, from festival to cabaret. Her stage presence is without equal ! Even though a large part of her repertory is known to several generations, the often "risque" texts still make her the singer "one does not listen to with the whole family".

In spring 1993, algerian composer Houari TSLBI asked RIMITTI to interpret some songs he had composed especially for her. The mother of Rai was thrilled by the project itself - and the possibility to show herself and current Rai singers in a different light. She is not as "old" - they are not as "new".
as one might think !
with the new recording adventure, RIMITTI proves that conquest of new musical horizons is not a question of age, but of fresh inspiration.

1. Nghani ki ma nabghi
2. Sidi Mansour
3. Ha raï ha raï
4. Rah jey
5. Rouked el achra
6. Maheyni maheyni
7. Rah yabki
8. Serrer à droite et stationner
Alt text
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BALLAKE SISSOKO - Deli

Posted By MiOd On 9:34 PM 0 comments
BALLAKE SISSOKO - Deli

Ballaké is one of the best kora players of the new generation. An obvious virtuosity mixed with a clear rhythmic demand from his trio, made up of two young n’goni and balafon improvisers. A master virtue and serenity serving his duos with Toumani Diabaté and the well remembered project with the bluesman Taj Mahal, as well as his collaboration with Keyvan Chemirani and Ross Daly.






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BALLAKE SISSOKO - Tomora

Posted By MiOd On 9:14 PM 0 comments
BALLAKE SISSOKO - Tomora

Mali has given birth to any number of expert kora players and Djelimoussa Ballaké Sissoko is one of them. I heard him for the first time a few years ago when a track from New Ancient Strings, an album that he shares with his more famous cousin Toumani Diabaté, appeared on a compilation that I found in a bargain bin. The track was “Yamfa”; the compilation was Unwired: Africa. Their playing had a casual beauty that I liked. The simplicity of the two instruments working together made everyone else on the CD sound unnecessarily busy, as if they were running around, shouting and sweating and falling on the floor in an effort to do the same thing that these two men were doing with limpid and sweatless calm. The pair of them repeat that performance once on Tomora, in a tune called “Kanou”. For the length of that track, New Ancient Strings has returned. There’s the same air of dignified excitement as they plant each note on the string, and the same pause behind each sound as the notes seem to stop and ponder their existences before the next ones arrive to snuff them out. One kora moves slowly, the other quickly; one draws back quietly, the other pours itself over the top of its partner. A well-played kora is one of music’s most unadulterated pleasures. The sound is firm yet sweet, caressing but strong, never pandering or seeming to beg for your approval. It’s an aristocratic instrument. But Diabaté is only making a guest appearance. After “Kanou” is finished, he’s gone. On the rest of the album Sissoko is accompanied by a group of his own called the Ballaké Sissoko Trio. The Trio consists of Sissoko on the kora, Mahamadou Kamissoko on the long, camel-coloured n’goni lute, and Fassély Diabate on the wooden balafon xylophone. Sissoko is listed as the composer of every song, bar one, but he’s not an attention hog. The balafon gets plenty of leeway. Every time Fassély hits a bar it issues a hollow liquid chuckle, the sound of creek water running over stones. Sissoko uses this balafon as he and Toumani used one another’s koras —as a counterpoint, as a contrast, as a Mande new-roots version of a jazz accompaniment. Other, non-Trio musicians sometimes step in to join them. There’s Demba Camara on the bolon harp, Fanga Diawara on the single-stringed sokou fiddle, and Aboubacrine Yattara (the photograph on the inlay shows him with his head bundled up in clean white cloth like a Tuareg, a suggestion of northern tribal loyalties that is neither supported nor denied by the nonexistent notes) on the bass n’goni, or n’goni bâ. Of course this Camara is not the same Demba Camara who sang with Bambeya Jazz, yet I felt a small depth charge of shock when I saw the familiar name on the CD case. “Demba Camara? Isn’t he dead?”

All of these other instruments are called into service on “Handarezo” and “Berekoy”, two songs that are as close as Tomora comes to big production numbers. The strings fall forward, curling in spirals and chasing one another’s tails, giving evidence of an Arab influence somewhere along the line. “Handaarezoo, handaareh-zoh,” sings Alboulkadri Barry, interjecting with a voice of declarative crispness, his tone raw along the edges as the sokou twists itself squeakily around him and eventually takes over.

Of the ten tracks on the album, seven are purely instrumental, two are sung by Barry, and the tenth is complemented by the voice of Rokia Traoré. This is “Nimân Don” and it’s her own work. “Nimân Don” is the only song not credited to Sissoko. The kora and balafon set the scene for her with a tripping beat, and she steps in, lilting. Her voice flutters, she sounds a little husky, she pauses and the kora flickers in the gaps between one word and the next. The song has her usual dryness, the same dryness you can hear on her albums. “Nimân Don” is restrained in comparison with “Hanarezo” and “Berekoy”. Traoré’s song uses the sound of the instruments as a framing device or backdrop behind and around her voice, while in the other two songs the voice and the instruments roll together as equal partners in the same thick stew.

Sissoko is not an innovator in the same restless league as his cousin. Still, he’s a composer with a deft touch. He draws you in at the beginning of the album with the promise implicit in a few elegant solo bars and rounds everything off decisively at the end with a twing. If you like the acoustic Mande music that has been coming out of Mali since the end of the 1990s—Salif Keita and Moffou; Traoré’s Wanita; Toumani’s Symmetric Orchestra; even the work of the fabulous Kandia Kouyate, for whom Sissoko worked as an accompanist before her stroke—then Tomora is well worth your time.

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