OCEAN BLUES: Djeli Moussa Diawara and Bob Brozman
A fresh collaboration of exotic music, OCEAN BLUES features both instrumental and vocal songs, with influences from West & North Africa, the Delta Blues, Madagascar, India and the Caribbean. Djeli Moussa Diawara is known world wide for his talent on the Kora (21-string African harp), and Bob adds his rhythmic & slide guitars to create an unforgettably unique album that brings blues back to its birthplace.
Bob and Djeli first met in April 1999 on Réunion Island, Indian Ocean, where they were performing at the same festival, while Bob was there working and recording with René Lacaille. Bob was knocked out by the innovative and expressive qualities of Djeli's kora playing and musical approach. He then invited Djeli to join him in Quebec as part of the International Troupe that Bob organized for the 1999 festival season. At that point, the musical exchange between Djeli and Bob literally cried out for a collaboration. By October, all was arranged for Djeli to make his first trip to America, to record in California.
OCEAN BLUES was recorded in real time, as this music cannot not really be rehearsed - and that requires an intense musical presence and focus, which can be heard on this project. The only pre-planning for any song was a brief discussion of the key or mode, and of the rhythm to be used. On "Voyage dans le Desert," the two eagerly tried an experiment in which Bob put the kora into an Arabic mode, a tuning which Djeli had never played in before, and the two immediately recorded after hearing a few seconds of what Djeli could play in that tuning. This is but one example of the entire process of this record: each musician reacts to the other, and together they learn, compose, perform, and record all at once.
As with Bob's other projects, taking the role of a flexible, culturally respectful, non-imperialist musical anthropologist has resulted in yet another project where the friendship, openness and adventure can be heard along with the music.
Praise for OCEAN BLUES:
"With either Diawara or Brozman, one would expect nothing less than a dazzling, vibrant, tasteful album, and OCEAN BLUES delivers all that to the power of two."
- DIRTY LINEN
"On OCEAN BLUES concept and realization come together with spectacular results to produce one of the albums of the year…"
"…much in the style of last year's splendid collaboration between Taj Mahal and Toumani Diabate on Kulanjan…OCEAN BLUES is arguably an even finer album, for the interplay between the slide and Hawaiian guitars of Brozman and Diawara's kora seems more natural and better integrated."
- SONGLINES MAGAZINE (UK)
"The clear sense of fun that comes through the speakers reaffirms the idea of music as a single universal language."
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Links to reviews for OCEAN BLUES:
The Beat Magazine, USA
SONICNET.COM, USA, October 27, 2000
Dirty Linen, USA
Bob Brozman - Guitar Master