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Thread: Indulging my jazz/world/fusion tendencies

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    Default Indulging my jazz/world/fusion tendencies

    I was off work sick for a couple of days this week, so took advantage of having the house to myself to listen, between sprints to the toilet, to things Mrs B cannot stand & so rarely come out to play, many of which fall into what one might loosely call "jazz/world/fusion".

    So....

    Miles from India - a 2 CD set of Miles' music, ranging from Kind of Blue era through electric Miles to his final days, played by a combination of ex-Miles band members and Indian musicians, all pulled together by the producer, Bob Belden. Intriguing! I've lived with In A Silent Way, Bitches' Brew and Kind of... for many years, but the combinations of Indian voices and instruments give a whole new slant to So What or It's About That Time or Spanish Key.

    This took me on to a couple of ECM stalwarts - Zakir Hussain's Making Music and Shankar's Song for Everyone - both typical ECM "east meets west" combos, involving a couple of the same musicians (Hussain and Jan Garbarek). Interesting combinations of Indian percussion and violin or flute with jazz-ish guitar and/or sax, with some typical Garbarek "Coltrane plays Norwegian folk tunes" episodes and "How many notes do you want me to play in the next 30 seconds?" fret burning from John McLaughlin.

    The guitar led me to Masada Guitars,an album of solo guitar re-workings (by Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Tim Sparks) of various pieces from John Zorn's Masada project. I've struggled with previous attempts at John Zorn, but these arrangements are far more accessible, for me at least, aided, I suspect, by my long-standing liking for Bill Frisell especially.

    And then off on another guitar-related tangent - Debashish Battacharya's Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey. This is a set of pieces influenced by music from across the Middle East into the sub-continent, played on self-designed instruments, loosely based on Hawaian guitars but with added resonating and drone strings (think: slack-tuned dobro crossed with a sitar, played with a slide...).

    Guitar-led oddness took me to Nguyen Le, the French-Vietnamese guitarist with a penchant for channelling Hendrix in settings dominated by the array of musicians from around the world to be found in Paris. Maghreb and Friends is heavily African-influenced, both Arab North Africa (hence, Maghreb) and black equatorial Africa, but with musicians from various bits of Europe contributing also. Million Waves is a more straightforward jazz-rock power trio album, allowing Le to indulge his post-Jimi-isms in a more typically Hendrix setting.

    And then I calmed own... Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate's Ali and Toumani, which is an excellent companion piece to the rather wonderful In the Heart of the Moon of essentially guitar and kora duets.

    Lastly, Toumani Diabate's Mande Variations, a collection of divine solo kora pieces of utter sublimity...

    Shame I didn't have time to break out the Eivind Aarset, Dhafer Youseff, Stephan Micus et alia....

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    I have a couple of tracks by Toure and Diabate: Simbo and Hawa Dolo. Also The Source album by Ali Farka Toure. I would like to buy more but without knowing the artists it's difficult to choose.

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    Simbo and Hawa Dolo are from In the Heart of the Moon, so if you like them, Gary, that album would be a good starting point.

    Ali and Toumani is in a broadly similar vein,so you shouldn't have any difficulty with that one.

    Ali Farka Toure albums? Many,many to choose from...

    Should be able to pick up the joint set of The Red and The Green albums quite cheaply, which are from the `80s. I like Niafunke, one of his later ones quite a lot.

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    Thanks for the heads up Boxer, I'll check those out.

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    I don't have any of those, but I certainly empathise with the sentiment of digging out albums the missus doesn't like when she's away. Usually it's things like Lassus, Allegri, Tallis, that sort of thing.

    I'll have a look out for some of those you mention, Boxer

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