– General Description:
Maurice Louca is an Egyptian musician and composer, also co-founder of the bands Bikya, Alif and Dwarves of East Agouza. Elephantine was recorded in Stockholm in August 2017 with a 12-piece ensemble.
“There was a blessed thing about the process of making this record,” says Louca. “The dynamic between us musically but also as people ...What these musicians delivered was really more than I could ask for. Everyone played their hearts out on this record.”
This work has a strong jazz feel with a use of repetition influenced by African and Yemeni music and other transcendental modal traditions. Vocalist Nadah El Shazly adds her voice on The Palm of a Ghost; the other tracks are instrumentals. Elephantine is a welcome addition to our world of music.
– FCC Compliant: YES
– Recommended Tracks: 2, 4, 5
– Track Reviews:
1. (8:43) The Leper - near silence until 0:20; nice combo of instruments builds with increasing flow of insect-like sounds in and out; some sax wailing too; has a nice beat, very dream-like and upbeat; starts winding down and wandering off at 8:15 but stick with it for the final thought
2. ***(4:00) Laika - guttural start with single low throaty sax; then others join in formation and rawly call out at random
3. (4:59) One More for the Gutter - lots of fluttering about with a few dramatic chordal crashes demanding attention; devolves into confused anarchy by 2:38 and the loud argument continues until the end
4. ***(5:46) The Palm of a Ghost - soft lovely female voice with woven strings beneath; mild, pleasant, Mid-Eastern song
5. ***(7:38) Elephantine - if an elephant had a jazz group...relaxed and mostly elegant jazz piece with a sleepy quality
6. (7:09) Al Khawaga - immediate energy; marching around with instrumental wailing on top; very harsh; ends at 6:50