Gnawa sounds
March 25, 2014 2:48 AM   Subscribe

Sometimes nothing satisfies quite like the funky bass lines you hear played on the ghimbri in Moroccan Gnawa music, not to mention the ecstatic singing. And Hamid Kasri is one of the greatest exponents of the music. Check him out here and here .

Hamid Kasri and his ghimbri were part of a post I made back in 2008, which covers a lot of other African instruments considered ancestors of the American banjo. Not sure how many of the links in that post are still live, but here it is.

And as you'll soon see, there's a lot of Hamid Kasri's stuff on YouTube. It's mostly audio only. You'll also come across lots of clips with music by another ghimbri master of Gnawa music: Mahmoud Guinia. Great stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite (11 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
posted by grog at 6:29 AM on March 25, 2014

This is really cool. The call and response quality combined with that driving bass is powerful.
Gnawa appears to be a kind of distant cousin to Pakistani Qawwal music, whose greatest (now late) proponent was Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan (probably one of the most dynamic vocal talents that I have every heard, who, in live sessions was easily able to drive a listening crowd into a frenzy; I witnessed that several times.

Would love to hear Hamid Karsi, live.
posted by Vibrissae at 6:30 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

that's beautiful
posted by thelonius at 6:42 AM on March 25, 2014

Great stuff, thanks!

Vibrissae, Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan had a student/second during the last years of his life who was also a great talent. I wonder what happened to him?
posted by sneebler at 7:00 AM on March 25, 2014

Thanks flapjax, this is really great.
Speaking of Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn, here is a great cover of Mustt Mustt by Kiran Ahluwalia and Tinariwen.
posted by briac at 7:14 AM on March 25, 2014

Ah, back when people still had their music on physical media laying around their rooms, seeing this CD cover was always a good sign.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on March 25, 2014

Love this stuff. Stayed at the Gnawa compound in Tangier for a weekend many, many years ago. It was a sort of kidnapping...

Here's video of the blacksheep of the Gnawa family, Hassan Hakmoun, on David Sanborn's amazing music show from the 80s, NightMusic.

Jazz master Randy Weston devoted his life to understanding the Gnawa. Here he is with a fabulous grouping of masters.

The album The Trance Of Seven Colors features Mahmoud Ghania with Pharoah Sanders, another jazz titan. The music they made together is prodigious.

The connection I see closest to Gnawa is Jajouka; both with a strong Sufic bias, based in Morocco. Here's an example of, I believe, the Boujeloud.
posted by artof.mulata at 9:38 PM on March 26, 2014

Here's video of the blacksheep of the Gnawa family yt , Hassan Hakmoun, on David Sanborn's amazing music show from the 80s, NightMusic.

That was such a cool band. Those two band members (drummer Yuval Gabay and guitarist Hahn Rowe) and I go waaay back. We did a lot of playing together over the years 1984 to 1995, in a couple of different bands in NYC. Yuval later went on to drum for Soul Coughing, before that band imploded. Great musicians!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:11 PM on March 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Agreed. Far out musicianship. Have you seen the footage of Hakmoun and John Lurie doing some otherworld improv? I saw it at a party ages ago, but can't seem to locate it. It was so good I got scared.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:22 AM on March 27, 2014

No, I haven't seen that one!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:17 PM on March 27, 2014

If I ever find it I'll message you directly. Completely crazy.
posted by artof.mulata at 7:57 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older Na na na, na na na, Marilyn Monroe   |   Put on your dancing genes and boogie Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments