Kalimba

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Joachim Kühn,Majid Bekkas
LABELS: ACT
ALBUM TITLE: Joachim Kühn
PERFORMER: Joachim Kühn (piano, sax), Majid Bekkas (guembri, oud, kalimba, vocals), Ramon Lopez (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: ACT 9456-2

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Despite his conventional classical training and immersion in the tepid bath of Eurojazz, Joachim Kühn’s projects are rarely predictable. This CD is the only recording of Berber-influenced jazz played by an East German, a Spaniard and a Moroccan in my collection!

What prevents it from being one too many is the avoidance of the soup-like homogeneity that often befalls ethno-jazz. There’s no dilution of any of the traditions involved; rather, their compatible elements are knitted with a sense of timing that makes the whole highly listenable.

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The combination of the usual ACT sonic standards with the production skills of? Walter Quintus produces an immaculate listening experience. It loses a star here and there, however, for being slightly too mannered in both directions; refer to percussionist Trilok Gurtu’s classic Kathak?for an edgier take on a comparable theme. Roger Thomas