Saturday, October 11, 2008
In Review---Afro-Celtic Fusion & Beyond
March Hare Music
Call of the Forest
Favorites Of The Baka Beyond
What is not to love about the international Afro-Celtic fusion group Baka Beyond? In this day and age of doom & gloom, these musicians get people on their feet dancing to acoustic African groove married to shimmering Celtic fare. Not only that, founders of the BB, Su Hart and Martin Cradick should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for all of the work they have done with the Baka Pygmies of the Cameroon forest. Well, maybe another year...
In the meantime, Baka Beyond & Baka Gbine's Baka Live gives listeners a chance to hear electrifying performances. The gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous people, Celtic and African music have all been bridged. We end up with a rich celebration of cultures and a friendly vibe that can only leave smiles on people's faces. I know that I smile a lot when I listen to these recordings. You can almost hear the dancing going on and certainly the excitement from this Afro-European brew. Kind of leaves me wondering why imperialism happened in the first place, when something softer like musical exchange would have left people less stressed out.
Live versions of Bambole, Sad Among Strangers with its gorgeous lilting vocals, Kobo, Bokissa and Boulez, Boulez, just to name a few soar off of this CD. Martin's guitar work and the tight musicianship of these players might entice listeners to catch this band in concert. (Which I will be doing next month).
Call of the Forest acts as a compilation of Baka Beyond favorites taken from studio albums ranging from 1995 to 2004. This is a fundraising album for the nonprofit One Heart-Global Music Exchange. The back cover reads, "Through Global Music Exchange--dubbed 'One Heart' by the Baka women-Baka Beyond give back to the rain forest culture that inspired them."
So if you feel like spreading kindness in the world, start by gifting yourself with one of these CDs and know that your money is going towards a fantastic cause.