Both Drake and Zerang play a wealth of percussion instruments that encompass musical traditions from the southern tip of Africa to the Middle East and the subcontinent of India; in this concert, however, they'll restrict themselves to two sets of good ol' American trap drums as they honor the memory of Ed Blackwell. And while anyone who passionately hates drum solos should spend the night elsewhere, others will find a layered trove of rhythmic interplay and even strong infusions of melody in these duets.
Claudine Francois is a beautiful pianist, and we love her work on other records – but she sounds especially great here in the company of bassist Hubert Dupont and drummer Hamid Drake – both players who bring a heck of a lot of texture to the session! Dupont's bass is wonderful – often more melodic than rhythm, at a level that's also echoed by Drake's always-creative work on the drum kit – providing these shifting shapes, like different platforms in sound – from which Francois' piano lines take off boldly.
"En 1943, rue Lauriston, des Français criaient d’angoisse et de douleur, la France entière les entendait.
En 1958, à Alger, on torture régulièrement, systématiquement, tout le monde le sait, de M. Lacoste aux cultivateurs de l’Aveyron, personne n’en parla, ou presque. " - Jean-Paul Sartre
Hamid, William and I have made 3 records prior to this one.”Remember to forget” and “Ultima” were recorded during our first Scandinavian tour in October 1997. “The other side” was a studio recording from Chicago during our North-American tour in January 2000. And “On Reade Street” was recorded in New York, January 2006. Hamid and William are two very nice people who also play their music very well. I think my fascination for their art partly lies in the fact that they have played a lot together. They have a certain thing they bring to the table and it?s quite a challenge both to go with it and also to go against it because it?s a very strong thing and it?s very personal. They will sometimes invite me into territories that I normally stay away from – the jazz thing. To me, this is both frightening and exciting. I feel like walking on the edge with one foot in open air! Frode Gjerstad
Abdel Hamid Ali Ahmed El Shari was born October 29, 1961 in Libyan city of Benghazi, studied aviation in England, studied music in Cairo, and settled permanently in Egypt in 1974, after witnessing Colonel Gadaffi's public burning of western musical instruments. A refugee from his own country's hostile anti-modern policies, he steadily made a name for himself as Egypt's leading champion of westernized synthesizer pop, known as Al-jil (generation music). More a deft blending of sounds than a simple music importation, Al-jil has all the dance appeal an array of samplers and synths can serve up, tempered by a distinctively Middle Eastern melodic sound. His 1988 hit single, "Lolaiki," recorded with Ali Hamaida, is said to have sold more than a million cassettes between 1988 and 1899.