|Worldsoul Records W0042|
SUPERSTRING THEORY GOES TO SENEGAL
In January 2007 multi-talented and award-winning musician Derrik Jordan travelled to Senegal in West Africa, intending to meet that country's foremost musicians and persuade them to work with him. In only 12 days he succeeded betyond expectations, and recorded 'jam sessions' with singer and kora-player Pepe Sakho and hoddu-player Barou Sall in a studio in Dakar. Also closely involved was percussionist Tony Vacca who had travelled with Derrik. Back home in the USA, they started to work on the tracks, overdubbing and adding more lines; all that was missing was a front vocalist - then providence shone, and unbelievably Derrik came across the 16-year old Ethopian Helen Kerlin-Smith living only a few miles from Derrik in rural Vermont - a billion-to-one chance; Helen's awesome, brilliant lines are totally authentic and enabled this CD to be put together.
|playing time: 64.00
direct sale price: $15.99
audio sample: Sobobade (extract)
|Our first review of Derrik's work was in issue # 68... as those who read that review will know, I was highly impressed with his total grasp of "world music", but without the lack of energy that the genre title often implies. & this outing is even more outstanding. His 5-string electric violin is there (& you know it), but it's place in the mix is very non-intrusive; the mix, in fact, is pure artistry, in & of itself. If you listen to this CD at one sitting, you will realize (at least a little of) the magic involved in creating music - especially music that forms bridges between cultures. Featured players include: Derrik Jordan; Barou Sall; Pape Sakho; Helen Kerlin-Smith; Tony Vacca; Erik Lawrence; Jo Sallins; Steve Leicach; Sobobade Drummers... as you can see, a list far too long to itemize each instrument. One of the most impressive players here (though all were amazing) was the vocalist, Helen Kerlin-Smith... her vocals on "Aliwu Mix" are not only enchanting, they display a soul at (total) ease with the music... it was odd, too, because Derrik didn't actually meet her until he had returned from Senegal to Vermont - talk about strange , eh? My favorite track on the album is cut 4, "Jump 12", a Jordan composition - make you have to get up & dance ... pure joy all the way through this one. In fact, if you don't register high on the joy-meter after listening to the 11 tracks on "SuperString" - you'll never get over whatever's ailing you. This automatically gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, but it also gets the "PICK" of this issue for "most creative musical expression"! - Rotcod Zzaj (E-Zine)|
| Beautifully and intelligently combining the distinctive and striking voices of traditional instruments such as the kora, the balafon,talking drum and soul-stirring vocals, Superstring Theory Goes to Senegal accomplishes the difficult fusion of cultures mixed in evocative conversation. Where electric violin meets West African hoddu, where synthesizers and keyboards and electric bass share a common voice with Chinese flute and one-string Senegalese fiddle, there is a world of sound so harmonious and brilliantly compatible that a truly diverse and universally human vision is brought into existence.
While the album largely came to be during a trip to Senegal and with the crucial involvement of many local musicians, this project took its final shape upon Derrik Jordan's return home where he both technically and musically grounded the album in his own roots, appropriately rounding off the album with his own personal touches and the discovery of a talented Ethiopian singer living in his home town in Vermont.
Blending together bits of jazz within this fusion of world, traditional folk and a tasteful Western undertone, this new release showcases not only the technical and artistic brilliance of the musicians but of the concept and overall approach of the album and its global voice. - CD Baby