This World and Blues releases

World: MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA | Talvin Singh/Bachir Attar Jazz: BILLY BANG | Billy Bang Theory MILES DAVIS | Big Fun
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The Independent Culture

World: MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA | Talvin Singh/Bachir Attar (Point Music)

World: MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA | Talvin Singh/Bachir Attar (Point Music)

The Moroccan village musicians of Jajouka have accumulated a discography of truly epic proportions, having recorded with the Stones' Brian Jones, Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders among others, but no one other than Talvin Singh has tried to make them sound more like trance music than they already are. Soloist Bachir Attar (on horn) is accompanied not only by the traditional Jajouka chorus, but also by Singh's tabla drumming and electronic soundscapes, putting an unsettling dance-music spin on age-old rhythms. It's not necessarily a case of crass cross-cultural tourism, but whether the experiment succeeds is debatable. Phil Johnson

Jazz: BILLY BANG | Billy Bang Theory (Justin Time)

If you can imagine a kind of free jazz Stéphane Grappelli, then you're half way to coming to terms with Billy Bang. Associations on the wilder side of jazz with Frank Lowe, Sam Rivers and James "Blood" Ulmer led Bang to pioneer a place for the violin in the late-1960s avant-garde, and he has since prevailed as an unorthodox exemplar of his incorrigibly orchestral instrument. This quartet date from last year sees Bang swinging like the clappers, with the fiddle's flights of fancy accompanied by Alexis T Pope on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass and Codaryl Moffett on drums. Bang's version of concert pitch sounds all over the place, but the feeling is right on the button. PJ

World: MILES DAVIS | Big Fun (Columbia Legacy)

The latest batch of re-mastered Miles recordings also includes 1972's infamous, Sly Stone-influenced On the Corner and Get Up With It from 1974, but this double CD may be the best bet for non-completists. Comprising eight tracks recorded between 1969 and 1974, with four of them only available previously on the Bitches Brew box set, the album begins with the astounding 27-minute "Great Expectations". Indian drones and percussion are matched with some heavy electric funk on a beautiful, airy theme by Joe Zawinul. Half way through, the track dissolves into a plangent trumpet solo, while everything else shimmers in the background. I don't think music gets much better than this. PJ