Global Beat Fusion: Idan Raichel

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Friday March 02, 2012

from Huffington Post

Global Beat Fusion: Where Muslims and Jews Make Music, Not War
By Derek Beres

After a chance meeting at a German airport, Israeli pop vocalist and pianist Idan Raichel would never have guessed that he’d record an album with the son of his musical idols, the late Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré. While Vieux Farka Touré initially thought of the thin, dreadlocked fan as a “crazy hippie,” they stayed in touch. Raichel is a household name in his homeland, due to his nonpartisan blending of Jewish and Muslim artists on record and stage. When he was asked to curate a series at the Tel Aviv Opera House, his first call went to the young African Muslim. The day after the concert, Raichel proposed that the men jam. Joined by Israeli bassist Yossi Fine, who had produced Touré’s Fondo and was a mentor to Raichel, and calabash player Soulemayne Kane, the quartet spent three hours inside of a small room. The Tel Aviv Session (Cumbancha) is the unintended consequence of that afternoon. The album combines Touré’s growing six-string mastery with Raichel’s easeful, dynamic piano playing. I’ve heard unreleased demos that Raichel created that were powerfully emotive, a striking contrast to the glossy pop albums he’s spent the last decade producing. It’s refreshing to hear him this raw over Fine’s bass and the quick pace of Kane’s percussion.

Read the full article here