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CD Review: OCEAN BLUES
Ocean Blues - Djeli Moussa Diawara and Bob Brozman
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DIRTY LINEN, USA

Ocean Blues

By AL RIESS



Kora master Djeli Moussa Diawara from Guinea and National steel guitar wizard Bob Brozman from the USA met in 1999 when they were on the bill at a music festival on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. They were so taken by each other's performances that they decided to play together in concert the next chance they got, which happened to be at another festival in Montreal. After that successful, rewarding meeting, the duo made plans to set up a recording session, and Ocean Blues is the result. This disc features elements of both new acoustic music and traditional music of many styles. "Almany" carries a flamenco feel, led by Diawara's flashy kora playing, with Brozman's bluesy guitar runs simmering underneath and creating a special atmosphere. Calypso meets flamenco in the fun-filled "Uncle Joe," one of only two numbers not co-written by the duo. On the driving, funky instrumental "Hip Hop," Brozman holds down the beat behind Diawara's inspired vamping. Diawara and Brozman interpret the musical traditions of other lands via their talented fingers and take the listener on a spirited tour of the sounds of the Sahara Desert ("Voyage Dans le Desert"), Madagascar ("Malaga"), Hawaii ("Malaika"), and beyond. Six of 11 cuts include singing by one or the other artist. 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. Unfortunately, the abbreviated booklet does not include lyrics or notes on the origins of or inspiration behind the tunes.

Bob Brozman - King of the National Guitar


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