270

Strings Tradition: Strings Tradition

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Strings Tradition: Strings Tradition Binding the ancient but still thriving string tradition of the kora (a 21-string West African harp), the Northern Indian Hindustani tradition of the sitar and the Southern Indian Carnatic tradition of the violin is really a brilliant idea. the debut release of Strings Tradition brings together five versatile and resourceful musicians who, rather than just finding a common musical language, possess a true timbral affinity and intimacy.



New-York-based Malian kora master Mamadou Diabate comes from a griot's family. His father, Djelimory Diabate, played the kora and he is related to another great kora player, Toumani Diabate. He has collaborated with diverse musicians including jazz bassist Ben Allison, blues guitarist Eric Bibb, Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo and Irish folk singer Susan McKewon. Sitarist Shujaat Husain Khan, son and a pupil of one of the greatest sitarist ever, Ustad Vilayat Khan, is a specialist of the singing style of the sitar, gayaki ang, and a close collaborator with Persian kamancheh master Kayhan Kalhor. The inventive Southern India violinist Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan also comes from a musical family, his father, Lalgudi G Jayaraman, also a renowned violinist. Tablaist Gourishankar and ghatam player Muraly Trichy round out the quintet.

Diabate's "Nyanafi" ("I miss you" in Manding language) opens Strings Tradition, and from the first seconds its organic flow and the ease of the gentle interplay between the kora, sitar and violin are palpable as they explore and articulate beautifully on the romantic theme. Diabate states a simple circular line on the kora, Khan extends and expands it soulfully on the sitar and Krishnan adds the right dose of pathos to the recurrent theme. Krishnan 's "Birds First Flight" transforms the classical Indian form of jugalbandhi—a playful competition that often ensues between the soloists at the ecstatic climax of the raga—for some high-voltage and amazing improvisations by Diabate, Khan and Krishnan, as they exchange joyfully rapid cadenzas.

Khan's "Himalayan Rain" leads the ensemble into much more meditative and introspective terrain. The composition is based on the popular folk song, "Tere bina saajana, jaan me jaan aye na" (without you my love, my heart is not a complete...), used on countless Bollywood films. Khan gently recites the romantic lyrics while the ensemble patiently explores this touching melody. Diabate's kora sound so natural and obvious, as he articulates the theme, that it's easy to confuse the origin of this song to the West African Mandinka. Gourishankar and Trichy get the chance for a virtuosic and nuanced percussion duet before the ensemble returns to explore the theme. Diabate's short and optimistic "Sigui Dyarra" concludes a unique collaboration that transcends boundaries, language and cultures, and demonstrate that music can suggest an intimate and trustworthy means for human interaction.

Track Listing: Nyanafi; Bird First Flight; Himalayan Rain; Sigui Dyarra.

Personnel: Mamadou Diabate: kora; Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan: sitar; Lalgudi Gjr Krishnan: violin; Gourishankar: tabla; Murali Trichy: ghatam.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Felmay | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Four Plus Three" CD/LP/Track Review Four Plus Three
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Sea Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Sea Ahead
by James Nadal
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Free for One" CD/LP/Track Review Free for One
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "The Dreamer Is the Dream" CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Let Loose" CD/LP/Track Review Let Loose
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!