Monday, September 15, 2008

Maleem Mahmoud Ghania w/ Pharoah Sanders: The Trance Of Seven Colors

About this record (from All Music Guide):
"To call this outing "authentic" would be an understatement, given that Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders took only some digital recording equipment and Sanders' saxophone to Morocco to record it...the recording took place in someone's home with a large cast of musicians, many of whom are Ghania's family members. The recording did not suffer at all from the mobile equipment, and The Trance of Seven Colors lives up to its title, giving the listener first-hand access to Gnawa healing ceremonial music. Ghania's Guimbri (an African instrument) unravels masterful, off-kilter, bass-like lines over chanting and various percussion instruments. Pharoah Sanders sounds inspired in the setting also, making this a worthwhile recording for Sanders fans who heard intimations of world music in his '60s dates"
Great summary, but this review does not speak to the sensitivity in the recording, exhibited in Pharoah's beautiful call-and-response interchanges with the chanting and drums as well as Laswell's completely unobtrusive mic placement - every hand clap, drumbeat and note exists in its own space on the musical plane.

A bit about Mahmoud Guinia from Wikipedia:
"El Maallem Mahmoud Guinia...is a musician from Morocco. He has appeared on a number of recordings...Mahmoud Guinia was originally the second son of the late and great master of gnawa music, MaĆ¢llem Boubker Gania (1927-2000) and the famous clairvoyant and "moqaddema" Aicha Qabral...The origins of the family is West Africa, i.e. the area around the famous city of Timbuktu in present day Mali. The family were not abducted as slaves, as so many other Gnawa were, but were employed as soldiers in the sultan's army..."
Read the full entry here.

Overall the music is trance-like and ritualistic. I welcome your thoughts and comments on the download below.

Maleem Mahmoud Ghania w/ Pharoah Sanders - The Trance Of Seven Colors