Monday, April 7, 2008
Guewel - Love letter to Africa, vol.2
its been a year since I returned from West Africa. Sheesh! Where'd the time go? Just recorded my 7th as a leader for Clean Feed entitled Guewel, and its been about a year in the making.
The band includes Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet, flugelhorn), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Mark Taylor (french horn), and Josh Sinton (bari sax), and from last Friday's rehearsal through Saturday night gig and Sunday morning (?!?) recording, it all came together smashingly! Thanks fellas...
Guewel means musician(s) in Wolof (the major language/ethnic group of Senegal). The compositions combine arrangements of Sabar (traditional Wolof drumming) and M’balax (Senegalese pop music), with improvised extrapolations on the written materals. The horn blend came out great. Baritone saxophone's range and fullness balanced the (mostly) cornet/trumpet/horn blend wonderfully. Mixing next week, then will send it off to Portugal for Clean Feed to master. Will be out in September so keep an eye out! More about Guewel in future posts, no doubt.
Never done a sequel project before. Volume 1 in my love-letters-to-Africa series came out on CIMP in 2003, Jalolu. That recording was inspired by and dedicated to Brikama, Gambia, after spending two months there in 02-03. Who knows when vol. 3 will appear, but I will say this: There are more Africa-inspired projects in me, that's for sure.
Time Out New York's preview read:
"In his Guewel project, drummer-composer Harris Eisenstadt mixes his avant-jazz expertise with an extensive knowledge of funky, intricate African music. Fortunately his bandmates—saxist Josh Sinton, plus brassmen Taylor Ho Bynum, Nate Wooley and Mark Taylor—can shift convincingly between boisterous and abstract modes."