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

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

TARANAKI WOMAD 2014: The first acts announced

As their website says today, perhaps half joking, "only 155 days till WOMAD 2014". And we too are counting down to the annual multi-culti music, arts and what-have-you festival which... > Read more

The Lijadu Sisters: Afro-Beat Soul Sisters (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

The Lijadu Sisters: Afro-Beat Soul Sisters (Soul Jazz/Southbound)

The story of the twins Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu out of Nigeria could have come from a very familiar template with that bell curve of a career: The excitement of being young and in hot bands (among... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BOB DYLAN, THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOLUME 1-3 (1991): A man out of time?

BOB DYLAN, THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOLUME 1-3 (1991): A man out of time?

Public figures in a nation at war can scarcely be expected to behave rationally, but the sight of star after megastar pumped up on religion and patriotism at this year’s Grammys made you... > 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