Various: The Rough Guide To World Jazz

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You could argue – and many have – that jazz has always been a world music. This particular compilation sits well enough in a post-Joachim Ernst Berendt frame of “jazz meets the world” but with a much more seamless integration of material than sometimes marked the projects of the late German producer.

Largely modal, the music is attractively programmed, embracing freshly configured classical as well as folk, Nordic as well as Arabic, Eastern as well as Western elements and with some extensive melodic improvisation distinguishing the 16-minute, part Mahavishnu Orchestra-like, part Shakti-touched Mystical Morning, featuring Hindustani slide-guitar virtuoso Debashish Bhattacharya and John McLaughlin (on electric guitar).

Unfortunately, for all the music’s many qualities – sample the mesmeric meditation that is the flowing, flute-led Kalahari from the Monoswezi ensemble – the term “rough guide” is all too apt regarding matters of presentation. Titles of the generative albums are supplied but there are no detailed personnel listings and the descriptive sleeve note (which can be accessed by Googling the album title) runs out after considering only the initial six of the 13 pieces presented.

Presumably, someone is paid to take care of such things – and as it’s not me, this review stops here. But do check out the multi-hued, often rhythmically strong music, all of which amply repays attention.

Discography
Kalavati; (2) Tribute To A Time; (3) Kazan; (4) Kalahari; (5) Dynalyd; (6) A Mystical Morning; (7) The Supper; (8) Charanga E-350; (9) Hafla; (10) Cekajuci Stribora; (11) Blood Of Two Oceans; (12) Strange Suite; (13) Hijaz (72. 24)
(1) Guillaume Barraud Quartet; (2) Out of Nations; (3) Boris Kovac & La Campanella; (4) Monoswezi; (5) Karl Strømme Quintet; (6) Debashish Bhattacharya and Friends (feat. John McLaughlin); (7) Chtopcy Kontra Basia; (8) Spam Allstars; (9) Hijaz; (10) Faith i Branko; (11) Subhasis Bhattacharya; (12) Ateshkhan Yuseinov; (13) Hassan Erraji & Arabesque. Various dates & locations: no info supplied.
Rough Guide RGNET 1385 CD