Hassan Hakmoun and Zahar


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On Gift of the Gnawa, Moroccan vocalist/sintar player Hassan Hakmoun combined traditional North African music and jazz by enlisting Don Cherry, Adam Rudolph and Richard Horwitz to the cause. Zahar's Moroccan-roll fusion is more subversive yet, but Hakmoun's thrash accompanists aren't the equal of his former jazz partners. Bill McClellan raises an unholy clatterdom on drums when focused brutality would be to the point, and Anthony Michael Peterson's Zani Diabate-flavored fuzz guitar feels oddly outdated for such a forward-looking meld. It's easy to enjoy the rawness and spontaneity, but if blending Moroccan trance music with numbness-inducing Western sonics is the intention, how about a session with My Bloody Valentine instead?