Zawose & Brook


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Hukwe Ubi Zawose is Tanzania's foremost traditional musician, a man with an astonishing voice that's been aired on several releases, but never like this. Michael Brook is a studio whiz with a long resumé. Put the two together and you have something soulful -- a musical journey across time and geography, from the raw sounds of the savannah to the 21st century, slotting Latin brass, loops, guitars, and all manner of things in with voices, fiddles, and thumb piano. The surprise isn't that it works, since cross-cultural mixes have become fairly normal, but that it works so organically. One idea slides easily into another; the voice of Zap Mama's Marie Daulne blends with Zawose and his nephew, Charles, to create something primal. The music churns and at its heart is a funk that has nothing to do with America, but something deeper. In many ways, this is the essence of what modern world music should be, creating a continuum that doesn't hide the artist, but lets him shine in a new canvas. A brilliant piece of work.

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