Too Far Away
Welcome to the first part of the new SPIRITS HIGH ABOVE anthology on FREE SOUL INC., a series focusing on the deeper, spiritual side of World Jazz & beyond.
Some time ago my friend and sOund vOyage partner Niko Schabel (Radio Citizen, Embryo etc.) introduced me to a band he plays for and that he produces: JISR جسر (Arabic for „bridge“).
Building bridges with music:
JISR جسر is a collective from Munich led by the charismatic linguist, singer, percussionist and Gembri player Dr. Mohcine Ramdan. He gathered some of Bavaria´s finest musicians to share his vision of an emotional Pan-Oriental sound that is deeply rooted in the tradition of his family of musicians in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Their live performance offers an unique fusion of Arabic Maqam, the polyrhythm of Gnawa music, World Spiritual Jazz & a bit of Afro Kraut and sets a new landmark in how to unite the diversity of diasporic music in Europe in a one stage set. Truly mesmerizing & a must see.
JISR جسر Band leader Dr. Mohcine Ramdan follows the path of musical exchange like a post modern Ibn Battuta of sound. The result on their debut album „too far away“ (freesoulinc/enja, yellow bird) is a ethnographic snapshot of polycultural musical traditions that breaks down boundaries, unconventionally arranged & orchestrated with a great longing for exotic athmospheres.
Modern Pan-Oriental Afro Jazz at it´s best with a strong focus set on the instruments „Oud“ (the Arabic lute) plus „Gembri“ (the North African bass) and on the ancient traditions of the Gnawa and Arabic music behind them. Healing music for the heart, mind &soul.
Band members are the Oud Virtuoso Roman Bunka (Embryo), Argentinian guitar maestro Luis Borda, Marja Burchard (Embryo, Karl Hector & the Malcouns), Wolfi Schlick (Express Brass Band, Poets of Rhythm),
Niko Schabel (Radio Citizen, sOund vOyage), Dine Doneff (ECM) and many more.
Mohcine Ramdan I daf, gembri, voice
Roman Bunka I oud, guitar
Gergely Lukács I trumpet, cornet
Luis Borda I guitar
Marja Burchard I piano, fender rhoads
Niko Schabel I saxophones, clarinets
Wolfi Schlick I flute, saxophones, sousaphone
Matthias Gmelin I drums
Vladislav Cojocaru I accordion
Ehab Abou Fakher I viola
Severin Rauch I drums
Ayman Mabrouk I tabla, daf, percussion
Dine Doneff I double bass
Feel the spirit
Tom Wieland ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ
ps. SPIRITS HIGH ABOVE originally is a deep listening Jazz DJ mixtape series established back in 2005 . What started as a crate digger exchange with my Vienna vinyl lover friends Alfred, Volker & Christian soon became one of the most prolific mixtape series in the genre that is still going on strong today: Click on the Artist Website button below to go to their Soundcloud page
Expect more goodness to come on FREE SOUL INC. in 2021