All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Badawi: Clones & False Prophets

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
No one brings the past and the future together into the present quite like Raz Mesinai (Badawi). Born in Jerusalem, Mesinai split his childhood between there and New York City, spending much of his time in Jerusalem studying Middle Eastern percussion in the Sinai desert with Bedouins and his time in NYC expanding into Afro-Cuban, Moroccan, Persian, Indian, and other styles. He professes a percussion sound and vision unlike any other, and when he is sometimes called “the Hendrix of percussion,” it’s not much of an exaggeration.

Badawi arms himself against these Clones with percussion, flute, piano, electronics, and some of NYC’s most veteran progressive musicians in guitarist Marc Ribot and clarinetist Doug Wieselman, plus drummer Ben Perowski, bassist Shahzad Ismaily, and vocalist Carolyn “Honeychild” Coleman.

“Enter the Etherics”—exotically timed, with clarinet evoking the Middle Eastern sound of the shanai and flute dancing in colorful robes against the cataclysmic percussion background—raises the curtain on what suggests a soundtrack for a yet-to-be-filmed Old Testament epic comprised not so much of songs but of musical pieces, of sound sculptures.

The first four tracks set the stage for “The Circle,” which draws battlelines for the ensuing climactic “Battle Cry.” Though every other song slowly writhes to life like a newborn serpent, “Battle Cry” explodes like simultaneous strikes of lightning and thunder. Powerful and violent, it unleashes the furious instrumental sound of King Crimson wandering lost for forty days in the Sinai, Ribot spitting guitar venom, ending in the final dying gasps of a radio transmission from the battlefield front.

Thanks to their drum and bass, “Enter the False Prophets,” which bleeds into “False Dub,” expands the Badawi sound and rhythm palette into the reggae/dub backbeat of the Caribbean, albeit twisted and very darkly toasted.

Track Listing: Enter the Etherics; Fire and Brimstone; Enter the Tomb Raider; Enter the Clones; The Circle; Battle Cry; Enter the False Prophets; False Dub; Waves of Conflict; To be continued

Personnel: Raz Mesinai (percussion, flute, piano); Shahzad Ismaily (bass); Ben Perowsky (drums, percussion); Doug Wieselman (clarinet); Marc Ribot (guitars); Carolyn "Honeychild" Coleman (vocals)

Title: Clones & False Prophets | Year Released: 2004


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "The Arrangement" CD/LP/Track Review The Arrangement
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Nadje Noordhuis" CD/LP/Track Review Nadje Noordhuis
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Live At The Magic Triangle" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by John Sharpe
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Life on the Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Life on the Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 13, 2017