Various Artists

Morocco: Crossroads of Time

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Morocco has one of the world's richest cultural traditions, inspiring creative geniuses ranging from Henri Matisse and William S. Burroughs to Ornette Coleman and Jimi Hendrix. Listening to this album, it's easy to see why these artists were so fascinated with this mystical culture, whose geographical location on ancient trade routes led to the incorporation of elements of Asian, African, European and Middle Eastern musical traditions. Ten songs and two ambient recordings made in the bustling marketplaces at Fez and Marrakesh take listeners on an aural tour of this magical land, from Paul Bowles' 1959 recording of Abdelkrim Rais' Andalusian orchestral ensemble to Zoughari's hypnotic Gnawa rhythms to Guedra's Sufi-style healing chants. The package includes a mixed-media book with 64 pages of photos, cultural insights, and detailed track listings, making Morocco: Crossroads of Time the most inexpensive ticket to an enriching Moroccan cultural experience you're likely to find.

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