Fulani bounce is a melody that I wrote a few years ago and thought that it sounded very African. I brought it with me to Senegal in 2013 and played it for Massamba Diop (pictured on tama) and he started smiling and getting happy and I asked him why. He told me this was a Fulani song. I had unconsciously written it even though I had never heard the original. When he played me the original it was very similar. Ha! Fulani Bounce features Saraba on fula flute which gives it a distinctive flavor and regional style.
Indigenous is a funky little song that I wrote about being connected to nature after my Lakota vision quests. It is part of my CD "Touch The Earth" which has an environmental theme and is a celebration of nature.
Everything Is Possible was recorded in my studio in VT with Senegalese super group Bideew Bou Bess, 3 brothers who have been performing together for 20 years. They are highly creative, beautiful guys and so much fun to work with. Tony Vacca and I performed with them in Senegal in 2013 in Dakar and on Goree Island, the ancient slave port just off the coast of Dakar.
Here's a Jewish wedding song that celebrates that high point in every Jewish wedding when the couple is hoisted on chairs and carried around the room to the great delight of the guests. Usually the couple is a bit fearful of being dropped although I've never seen this happen! Featuring the great Bill Shontz on clarinets. I'm playing violin, bass, accordion and drum set.
Yehuda Glantz is an Israeli musician who plays accordion, keys, percussion, Charango, guitar, sings, produces and composes. He is a very expressive and spiritual musician who I met in Israel in 2013. He is originally from Argentina but has lived in Jerusalem for many years.
Homunculus was inspired by listening to Pygmy and West African music. There is also another arrangement of this material which I did for the 2nd movement of Windham Loops, a piece for orchestra and Impulse Ensemble (Derrik Jordan, Tony Vacca and Jim Matus) a world fusion power trio. This is the studio version.
Mountain Of The Gods And Goddesses is the 4th movement of "Five Gamelans For Brass Quintet" which is inspired by Balinese music. It was recorded by Kyodai Brass in Boston in June 2015. It is a world fusion/classical piece and brings together various influences to create something new.
"There is a place in Africa, a natural paradise..." - so the song begins about Sobobade, a magical spot on the coast of Senegal where I have spent some very creative time with my friend Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets and Tony Vacca who I work with in 2 bands.
Here is string orchestra arrangement of "Toubab" performed by The Berklee World Strings under the direction of Eugene Friesen. The performance was April 30, 2015 at First Church Boston. This piece written in Senegal was first recorded on the CD SuperString Theory Goes To Senegal.
"We may not be dodging bullets for a loaf of bread, still we have trials to overcome." Ann Curless and I wrote this song "We Carry On" back in NYC in the 90's. She sings it here in a production by Ben Wittman. A song dedicated to the indomitable human spirit.
Panorama is a song that welcomes and celebrates the coming of spring and summer after a long cold winter. The lyrics speak of the joys of the summer experience and being surrounded by the beauty of nature in all its glory.
Shadow Puppets is the 3rd movement of "Five Gamelans For Brass Quintet" inspired by the music of Bali. It was recorded by Kyodai Brass in Boston in June 2015. It is a world fusion/classical piece and brings together a variety of influences.
"Can you feel it? Feel that awesome spirit?" so the song begins and takes us on a little journey asking questions along the way. Impulse Ensemble (Tony Vacca, Jim Matus and Derrik Jordan) performs with Derrik Jordan singing. Jim Matus asked me to write something with him that had a wordless vocal but when I heard the chords he was playing I started hearing lyrics. I have learned by now in my creative life not to argue with the muse. Derrik is also playing congas and electric violin. Tony is on balafon and percussion. Jim is on the laoutar. From our CD "Initiation."
Here's a mbaqanga (South African) influenced track. Forward Kwenda is playing mbira, I am playing all the other instruments including conch shells and singing. It's got a little bit of the feel that Paul Simon brought to the world with his "Graceland" CD.