COMPOSERS: Malik Mezzadri
LABELS: Label Bleu
ALBUM TITLE: Magic Malik Orchestra
PERFORMER: Malik Mezzadri, Magic Malik Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 6662-63
Flautist Malik Mezzadri is even more of a musical magpie, which is not surprising for someone who is half-French, half-African and grew up in the Caribbean. On his curiously titled double album 00-237/XP-1, flute and alto saxophone swirl giddily around a thumping rhythm section, borne aloft on a magic carpet of keyboards.
By fusing elements of world music (from Celtic to Middle Eastern) and high-energy jazz, with ample space for improvisation, Malik has created a music that connects with both the brain and the feet.
The France-based MAGIC MALIK ORCHESTRA (more often a quintet) includes keening American altoist Steve Coleman, plus oud-player Mohamed Rifi Saidi. But it’s Malik who is usually blowing at the centre of things, sometimes singing a wayward, wordless top line, sometimes doing both simultaneously.
If you need a comparison, think of the way wind-player Roland Kirk could be fun, touching and furious in equal measure and you’re getting close to Malik’s appeal.