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Michy Mano: The Cool Side of the Pillow

Jim Santella By

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World music reminds us that every corner of the globe has its own particular sound. Instruments differ, languages differ, elements such as harmony and rhythm differ, but it's all music. The power of our universal language cannot be understated.

Michy Mano sings about sociology and politics, personality and emotion, good fortune and bad. He delivers an upbeat vocal performance that includes English and well as French lyrics. Mano's method combines traditional Gypsy music with contemporary rap antics.

What makes The Cool Side of the Pillow special, of course, is the authentic Moroccan context, with an emphasis on Gnawan music. It's there in the timbre of his sentir and the instruments around him: ney flute, tabla and harmonium. However, these sounds and the ethnic vocal chants that pepper the program take a back seat to the contemporary elements that Mano has imported. Keyboards, electric bass, soulful saxophone and percussion loops color the program with such a great impression that they overshadow the ethnic tradition.

Music is Bigger than Me features the combined forces of electric bass, harmonium, soprano saxophone and Mano's voice in a lovely world music ballad. "Gherbelize It features tabla and voice in an English language adventure, while "Shkoun Li Mesoul represents a country dance steeped in tradition. "Wa Moulana closes the album with a spiritual chant that Mano chooses to sing with organ and sentir accompaniment. He has much to tell the world about his homeland and its traditions.


Track Listing: Casatana; Gherbelize it; Tellement gadjo que je suis gypsy; Bangosali; Music is bigger than me; Salla nabi; Shkoun li mesoul; Wa moulana.

Personnel: Michy Mano: vocals, sentir, loops, keyboards; Bugge Wesseltoft: keyboards, programming, harmonium, organ; Abderrahim Tobi: vocals; Issa Tobi: backing vocals, violin; Oystein Trollsas: ney flute, soprano saxophone; Dozzy Njava: guitar; Paolo Vinaccia: percussion, loops; Hassan Shoukat: tabla; Aleco Bielenberg Ivanovich: vocals, guitar; Nikak Bielenberg Ivanovich: guitar solo; Audun Erlien: electric bass; Bendik Hofseth: tenor saxophone.

Title: The Cool Side of the Pillow | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Enja/Justin Time


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