BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Jon Balke and Amina Alaoui: Siwan (ECM/Ode)

 |   |  <1 min read

Jon Balke, Jon Hassell, Amina Alaoui: Ya Safwati
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Jon Balke and Amina Alaoui: Siwan (ECM/Ode)

This album fits squarely into Elsewhere, but perhaps in few other places. Not only does it feature Elsewhere favourite Jon Hassell on trumpet and electronic effects, but it has a swooning Arab North African quality (singer Amina Alaoui comes from Morocco), the poetic lyrics come from Sufi writers and the whole thing is beautifully, and emotionally, orchestrated by Jon Balke.

With harpsichord, lute, a string section, Pedram Khavar Zamini on zarb (hand drums) and the violin of Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche, this remarkable album has a transcultural effect, the soaring vocals by Alaoui providing emotional uplift, the electronics from Hassell and dark viola and violincello providing a solid and exotically mysterious grounding.

Mesmerising, transcendental in places, occasionally dramatic and always affecting, this one is a standout for ECM. 

Share It

Your Comments

mark robinson - Nov 9, 2009

Stunning preview track Graham.

I don't have to add any comments to the discussion about how the ECM record label continues to release (fill in adjectives like stimulating, intelligent, inspiring, moving) music. But lets acknowledge ODE Records for importing ECM and making it available in NZ.

More of this music should be broadcast and opened up to an audience that, i believe, wants to hear and purchase it.

Good on you, Roger Marbeck and Trevor Reekie for enlightening us.

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

When this interview appeared in 1999 I was subject to some interesting passive-aggressive communications from people purporting to be sympathisers with the Free Tibet cause who suggested that what... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Juana Molina: Un Dia (Domino)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Juana Molina: Un Dia (Domino)

This singer-songwriter from Argentina will confound any expectations you might have of someone who was once a comedy actress and in skit-shows on local televsion. This album with odd elements... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Alice Cooper; The Very Best Of

THE BARGAIN BUY: Alice Cooper; The Very Best Of

Although this 14-song collection falls far short of its title -- classics like I'm Eighteen, Billion Dollar Babies, School's Out and No More Mr Nice Guy are all live versions from his '95 album... > Read more

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE INTERVIEWED (2012): All in the family

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE INTERVIEWED (2012): All in the family

Tycho Cohran – aka LT – was always destined to do something in music, as were his seven brothers. The sons of jazz pioneer Phil Cohran, a Sun Ra Arkestra player and founding member of... > Read more