Zawose & Brooks
Sometimes things are just done right. This is especially difficult to pull off in cross-cultural meetings. In music, symbiosis is very rarely met — with one side invariably overshadowing the other. This is especially true in the New Age world, but, since Galliano’s Frikyiwa, things have gotten much better in the dance world.
Assembly is neither of those genres but definitely benefits from the experiences of both without falling into either=EDs many traps. Dr. Hukwe Zawose is a Tanzanian tour de force. And Canadian guitarist/producer Michael Brooks (who’s worked with Brian Eno, Youssou N’Dour, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) is his perfect complement. Together, they have assembled an album that is both African and Western and neither. They seemed to have struck the perfect note in cross-cultural creation. With the help of the goddess Marie Daulne of Zap Mama fame (who appears on two cuts, including the incredible, mournful “Chiluni Kigumu/Tricky Voices”), what they’ve created is a perfect disc for your more sophisticated world music audience, combining African, trip hop, blues, and Latin vibes into a stunning elixir.