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SPIRIT! THE POWER OF MUSIC

recorded  24 September 1999 
Lafayette, Church, Brooklyn, USA
CD     2003   Sunnyside          SSC  3015
CD     2000   Verve/Gitanes    543 256 -2

See also:
        The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco

         1,5Mb -  flashmovie -  Randy Weston African Rhythms & the Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco    Randy Weston & Gnawa - flash-movie 1,5Mb
        | real | wm |
         
 -    liner notes
Press:
        Herald Tribune

        All about Jazz  


The Gnawa Master Musicians of Morocco:
M’Barek Ben Othman
percussion, vocal  (on 3,5,6,7)
Ahmed Ben Othman
percussion,dancer, vocal (on 3,5,6,7)
Ahmed Saassaa
guembri, vocal (on 3,5,6,7)
Abdellah el-Gourd
guembri, vocal (on 2,3,4,6,7)
Abdenebi Oubella
percussion, dancer, vocal (on 3,4,6,7)
Mostafa Oubella
percussion, dancer, vocal (on 3,4,6,7)

Randy Weston
piano  (on 1,6,7)
Alex Blake
bass  (on 2,6,7)
Neil Clarke
percussion  (on 6,7)
Talib Kibwe
flute, alt sax  (on 1b,6,7)
Benny Powell
trombone (on 1c,6,7)


Randy Weston
arranger, producer
Brian Bacchus
producer
Daniel Richard
executive producer
Talib Kibwe
musical director
Jay Newland
engineer, mastering, mixing
Vincent Caro
engineer
Ariane Smolderen
photography
Majid Bekkas
translation
Rhashidah E. McNeill
liner notes

 

  1a Origin  (Weston)
    b Receiving the Spirit
Part 1
    c Receiving the Spirit
Part 2
  2   Haghouge & String Bass
  ( Abdellah El Gourd)
  3   Chalabati  
(traditional)
  4   Who Know Them?
 ( Abdellah El Gourd)
  5   El Wali Sidi Mimoun
(traditional)
  6   Lalla Mira
Part 1 (traditional)
  7   Lalla Mira
Part 2 (traditional)


SPIRIT! THE POWER OF MUSIC

Randy Weston African Rhythms Quintet & the Gnawa Master Musicians of Morocco.
Live recording on Friday September 1999 at Lafayette Presbyterian Church , Brooklyn .


The setting was indeed appropriate.  This live recording took place at a Large, beautifully structured and decorated church that reflected the theme, "Spirit Is Power" on September 22, 1999 in Brooklyn.  The ambience of the stage setting was enhanced with Large plants, incense, soft lighting in the right areas, spiritual African statues, and drums placed in just the right spots; just the right atmosphere to ready the audience for what was to take place next.  Even the walls seemed to come alive and rejoice with the happy procession of images that were painted on them.

Then, the elders came out to greet the already captivated audience in royal fashion.  It was more Like a meeting with the Counsel of Elders who came to give the community their messages of wisdom to help us grow and get back on the right track, especially spiritually.  Elders, Babatunde Olatunji of Nigeria, Randy Weston, and Abdullah Boulkhair EL Gourd of Morocco were seated together and each addressed the audience verbally about their concerns about our spiritual well-being.

Then each eider led his own group in addressing the community (audience) this time using the best way of all to reach the people, through music, the universal language and perhaps, the most effective way to express the theme for the evening, "Spirit!  The Power of Music". 

Babatunde Olatunji and his group opened the evening with Yoruba libations.  
Then Randy Weston with a piano solo followed with accompaniment by the African Rhythms musicians.  

The Master Gnaoua Musicians from Tangier and Marrakech of Morocco performed separately and then together. Later, all the groups co-mingling and joined together,  including Randy Weston & African Rhythms and the Gnaoua Masters of Morocco for an extraordinary, climactic extravaganza punctuated by the drumming of Gnaoua master, M'Barek Ben Othman, and Randy's thundering and roiling piano notes sending the audience into a spiritual frenzy that couldn't be contained or reserved.

The finale culminated in wriggling bodies, swaying arms, clapping hands, shouts of jubilee, and dancing feet.  The message came home through the Spirit of all present.  Everyone felt it "Spirit, The Power of Music!"
 

1999  Rhashidah E. McNeill
 

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