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12 juillet 2008

Is Damon Albarn the new Peter Gabriel?

Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

The 2002 release of Mali Music on his Honest Jon’s record label added Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, to a lineage of rock-star adventurers in African music that extends back to the Rolling Stones’ posthumous 1971 indie release of Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. Not unlike Peter Gabriel’s Real World endeavor, Albarn gets his first WOMAD, of sorts, when the Lincoln Center Festival presents the Honest Jon’s Revue. This two-hour “chop-up” (Nigerian slang, I believe, for “too much music in too little time”) includes the cream of the label’s roster: Nigerian Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen; acoustic guitarist Afel Bocoum and Kokanko Sata, from Mali; Southern soul singer Candi Staton; New York’s Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; free-floating American singer-songwriters Simone White and Victoria Williams; and Albarn himself, who will also participate in a pre-show symposium at 6 p.m.

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