Patrick Brennan, alto saxophone; M'Allim Najib Sudani, guinbri, vocals, tabal; Nirankar Khalsa, trap drums, vocals, bamboo flute, darbuka; Bujmaa Sudani, qarqabeb, vocals, tabal; M'Barek Sudani, Larbi Faud, and Yassine Lekuni, qarqabeb, vocals; Tola Cohia Brennan, rhythm oud.
A good indicator of an improvising musician's level of achievement is the ability to establish meaningful dialogue with performers of diverse backgrounds. In this remarkable session, recorded in Morocco in 1999, saxophonist Patrick Brennan demonstrates that an advanced knowledge of rhythm facilitates discourse with a virtuoso African musical tradition. By exploring new instrumentation and flouting conventions of piano, bass and drums, Brennan shows us that the language of improvisation is limited only by one's imagination. The pulsating groove of Marhaba ya Marhaba establishes a theme that runs through the session; some of the finest call-and-response patterns on record. There's a wonderful, unexplored world beyond fake book tunes and II-V-I progressions, and people like Brennan will continue to lead us there.
by James D. Armstrong, Jr.
Jazz Now Editor of Music in Transition
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, May 2001 issue, all rights reserved