Sunday, June 05, 2011

MAJID BEKKAS - Makenba (Igloomondo)

Atmospheric meeting of classically trained Moroccan multi-instrumentalist Bekkas and a host of fine musicians from Africa, Europe and the Americas. Bekka’s guimbri bass is at the centre, purposefully pushing a groove around which snake Louis Sclavis’s clarinet (and sax on the slightly over-jazzed title track) and Aly Keita’s trusty balafon, which as always provides unshowy light rhythms ans melodic flavour. A smattering of north African percussion is given added texture by Argentine Minino Garay’s snappy drumbeat and Majid is a fine oud player too, and possesses an attention-holding deep, dark and expressive voice. It’s on the stropped back, poised Louhid, where those two instruments are left to their own devices (with minimal percussive encouragement) that this interesting album hits an emotional, poetic peak.

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