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Famoudou Don Moye & Tatsu Aoki: A Symphony Of Cities

Jim Santella By

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Creative music is world music. The impressionism contained in its freeform display draws from all cultures and all methods of making music. Famoudou Don Moye's percussion collection, which includes devices from all over the world, makes music that seems to derive from all cultures at once. His career with the Art Ensemble of Chicago has proven that categories mean very little. Creative music is universal. Since Lester Bowie's passing, Moye has been working with the Art Ensemble of Africa, depicting the cultural sounds of Johannesburg, Dakar, Bamako, Lagos, Ibadan and more. For this project, he's teamed with Asian Improv artist Tatsu Aoki to create a symphony of African and Asian sounds that can easily be considered representative of every large population center. The artists have strong ties to Chicago. Aoki, whose nickname is "SmokeDaddy," performs all over Chicago year round, doing mainstream jazz as well as creative, avant-garde things.

Joel Brandon and Francis Wong make "Ode to Wilbur Ware" swing lightly in tribute. Both woodwind artists improvise with soulful honesty. When Brandon whistles, it's as if he were playing a special kind of flute: one that responds to every figment of his imagination. The foursome comes together with conversational responses that belie their shared interests. Other cities, such as New Orleans, Kingston, and Havana make an appearance. The piece on urban Tokyo's hurried pace runs helter-skelter. The African-Asian concept Moye and Aoki reveal with their first track is but one part of the formula. Their true spirit lies in every corner of the globe, and this recommended session remains accessible to all.


Track Listing: Afro Asian Reflections; Promise; Ode to Wilbur Ware; TokyoMad Tonal Efficiency; Soba Soba.

Personnel: Famoudou Don Moye- drums, percussion; Tatsu Aoki- acoustic bass, percussion; Francis Wong- tenor saxophone on "Ode to Wilbur Ware" and "TokyoMad Tonal Efficiency;" Joel Brandon- flute on TokyoMad Tonal Efficiency," flute & whistling on "Ode to Wilbur Ware."

Title: A Symphony Of Cities | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Southport Records

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