Monday, 22 October 2012

Roba (Robbery)

During most of my final days in Memphis in the early 90's, I pretty much just listened to jazz and ethnic music of various descriptions, and in parallel with the Tuvan rabbit hole I fell down, I also developed a serious sweet tooth for the amazing sounds coming out of Madagascar at the time. I spent so much time listening to D'Gary that I began to have serious doubts about whether it was even worth ever picking up a guitar again, and Tarika Sammy's second album was also in very heavy rotation. Every track on it would have been a hit, in my view, if not for the language barrier, strange instrumentation, and whirling polyrhythmic patterns which often seem to turn in on themselves, mesmerizing and disorienting Western ears. Still, they were commercial enough to make the New Orleans Jazzfest, and this is a great performance, with the added bonus of my old Memphis chum Candace Mache being visible in the audience in the opening seconds.

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