Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

16 septembre 2006

Hassan Hakmoun presents The Gift on Triloka Records

Moroccan Gnawa Master Musician Uproots the Past, Fuses with the Future

North Africa has long been a crossroads. The Gnawa people of Morocco descend from slaves from West Africa, but they claim spiritual descent from Bilal al-Habashi, an Ethiopian who was the Prophet Mohammed's first muezzin (caller to prayer). Gnawa music's integration of African rhythms and sensibility has been compared to the Blues and Santeria. But the Arabic context produced a unique sound. Not until Hassan Hakmoun's upcoming CD, The Gift, on Triloka Records (May 7, 2002) has the Arabic milieu of Gnawa been musically brought to the fore.

Hassan Hakmoun
has street smarts. By age four, he performed alongside snake charmers and fire-breathers on Marrakech streets. His mother is known throughout the city as a mystic healer. Her derdeba trance ceremonies are all-night affairs where hypnotic playing and chanting exorcise evil spirits. This musical form, steeped in Islamic mysticism and West African rhythms, lifts the spirit and heals the wounded with songs of praise. Out of these origins came an emissary infused with Gnawa music as well as rock and funk.

It's not surprising how Hakmoun got to New York. In 1987, he was brought there as part of a traditional ensemble funded by the Moroccan government. He liked it so much that - without a lick of English - the twenty-something singer and sintir player evaded his traveling companions and purposely missed his flight by hiding in the airport.

The night before, he had met composer Richard Horowitz, who came to his aid with a place to stay and a gig at a Moroccan restaurant on Bleecker Street. That night established the seeds of many years to come. The unknowing diners were soon ecstatically dancing instead of eating. A New York Times writer was dining there and began the buzz that led Hakmoun to the US stage as a premier world musician on par with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (they were the first signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World label). As fans lined up to praise Hakmoun, he disappeared again, this time with a waitress whose marriage soon became his legal passage to this land of dreams.

Hakmoun has resided in the US ever since. The pentatonic scale and driving rhythms of the sintir, a three-stringed long-necked African bass lute, are instantly appealing to many Western ears, and Hakmoun, has succeeded in presenting this music outside of Morocco to widespread critical acclaim. He was the only world musician invited to play Woodstock '94, and has performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and on the WOMAD '94 tour. Hakmoun became a regular fixture in New York's rock, jazz, and fusion scenes, and earned his following for spanning multiple genres with his spiritually charged voice and playing.

The Gift teams Hakmoun with American-born producer Fabian Alsultany. The two have tackled the landmark task of bridging Gnawa with Arabic music while maintaining a forward-looking sound. Alsultany recruited over a hundred musicians to fill out the sound with strings as is common in popular Arabic music. The CD breaks new ground with a widely popular Arabic song, "Layla Layla" (without which no Arabic wedding is complete), which is unheard of from a Gnawa musician. Hakmoun carries the healing tradition to a wider audience with the life affirming single, "This Gift," a remarkable and timely duet with Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Paula Cole, with whom he fell in love while recording this song. The two now have a four-month old baby.

The new Triloka release and a 2002 late summer/fall tour return Hassan Hakmoun to the world's eyes and ears. Drawing deeply on an intensely spiritual and ancient tradition, listeners will move their bodies and souls to the sounds of The Gift

Author to give intriguing talk

Flutist Guo Yue has many talents

EVOCATIVE writer, composer, and performer Guo Yue will be shedding light on Chinese culture when he comes to Saffron Walden later this month. The multi-talented flautist, composer and chef is appearing in the town as part of the Saffron Walden Literary Festival, sponsored by The Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast on Saturday September 30. Blessed with a captivating charisma, Guo will demonstrate his talents as he speaks about his life, plays the flute and prepares Chinese food.

Having grown up in the back streets of Beijing during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Guo eventually came to the UK to study music and has contributed to the musical scores of The Last Emperor and The Killing Fields, working with Peter Gabriel.

Festival organiser Jo Burch said: "This is probably the most intriguing of the events we have on offer at the festival - a window into a culture very different from anything most of us have experienced. "Guo Yue's memoir is hugely evocative. His music is hauntingly beautiful. I am very much looking forward to seeing him in action."

Despite Guo's troubled childhood - his mother was beaten and taken away by Red Guards when he was 12, then taken away and "re-educated" for three years - the performer remains a positive force.

13 septembre 2006

Postcards From East Oceanside - Paula Cole

Named Best New Artist in 1997 with seven Grammy nominations for This Fire and nominated for Producer of the Year, singer/songwriter Paula Cole has come a long way very quickly.

Her first album was Harbinger in 1994. She toured with Peter Gabriel on his Secret World tour in 1994, before producing her second album This Fire in 1996.

The spiritually themed Amen followed in 1999. This album is a compilation of her greatest hits, with two new songs Tomorrow I Will Be Yours and Postcards from East Oceanside.

Paula has a distinctive voice, making the most of her very personal lyrics, which also tap into universal themes, often telling a story. Gentle and mellow for the most part, often bittersweet, she is also capable of surprises, such as the more jazzy Autumn Leaves.

The numbers are backed by rich and interesting instrumentation giving each number an individual flavour.

11 septembre 2006

Manu à Dinant

Dinant Jazz Nights (Belgique)

Du 29 septembre au 1er octobre 2006,
Dinant Jazz Nights présente
la 9ème édition de son festival
consacré entièrement au label ECM

(...) Le festival se terminera par ce qui peut être considéré comme un projet archétype d’ECM, le groupe Neighbourhood de Manu Katché qui a été assemblé par le batteur franco-africain et Manfred Eicher comme un projet unique et éphémère. Mais comme tant d’autres projets auparavant, il est devenu entre-temps un groupe tellement apprécié du public qu’il relève presque de l’institution. Le groupe comprend trois-quarts du quartet de Tomasz Stanko (Stanko, Wasilewski, Kurkiewicz), mais joue une musique nettement plus ensoleillée bâtie autour des mélodies de Manu, de ses modèles de groove et de ses rythmiques typiques. En ayant récemment remplacé l’influence d’origine de Jan Garbarek dans le groupe de Manu, le saxophoniste norvégien Trygve Seim complètera le quintet à Dinant. Bien que Katché soit plus connu pour ses nombreuses collaborations avec des musiciens de rock - Peter Gabriel, Sting, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Dire Straits, Bee Gees, Simple Minds, Stéphane Eicher, Francis Cabrel... - le jazz est une priorité pour lui alors que ses premiers contacts avec la musique improvisée sont apparus par l’intermédiaire des albums d’ECM. Manu a largement contribué aux disques d’ECM depuis qu’il a collaboré en 1990 à « I Took Up The Runes » de Jan Garbarek. (...)