Karim Ziad - Dawi
Composed by Karim Ziad. Recording mediums. CD. Duration 51' 45''. MDS (Music Distribution Services) #INT 34552. Published by MDS (Music Distribution Services) (M7.INT-34552).
Item Number: M7.INT-34552
His name has been familiar for some time to knowledgeable fans of music. No matter whether the musical jack-of-all-trades Karim Ziad, born in Algeria in 1966, is accompanying Cheb Mami or helping out the WDR Big Band, the Zawinul Syndicate, or his friend Nguyen Le, his reputation has traveled from Paris to the rest of the world.The exceptional percussionist Karim Ziad is taking the listener on an adventurous journey for his third album under his own name. The list of musicians with whom Ziad has recorded his new disc, Dawi, reads like a who’s who of jazz and world music: Nguyen Le: guitars; Frank Chastenier: piano; David Aubaile: Rhodes piano; Michel Alibo: electric bass; Karim Nazem: lead rap Linley Marthe: electric bass; Aziz Sahmaoui: percussion/background vocals; Menni Mohamed: percussion/background vocals; Scott Kinsey: synthesizer/piano; and Rani Krija: keur, karkabou, tbel – to name just a few of them.Karim Ziad, whom his friends fondly call the Little Prince, plays, in addition to diverse percussion instruments, guitar and gumbri (a Moroccan bass lute) and sings. With his music Ziad wants to bring people closer together, especially the people of East and West.And so it is a crackling and tension-filled musical mixture that awaits you on this new shiny silver disc: the sounds of the traditional music of North Africa – the Maghreb – flow into a more than simply productive fusion of jazz and electronic sounds.In the eleven tracks on Dawi you can hear what Ziad means when he says: “I go my own way when I combine traditional rhythms and patterns from, say, North Africa, the Maghreb, with European and American sounds. I am not exclusively fixated on jazz but want to development an independent, unmistakable sound.”To achieve that, Karim Ziad has made a long journey. He likes playing the musical tour guide on his jobs, leading his colleagues and listeners through lesser known musical terrain. The percussionist, singer, and gumbri player is an engaged advocate of genre-crossing projects that mix music and rhythms from the many styles of North Africa and the world. Karim Ziad mixes styles but never forgets his musical roots and his own origins; he states, with his usual modesty: “I am a Berber.”Born in 1966 and raised in the melting pot of Algiers, Karim Ziad experienced the degrees of tension of a cultural change: on the one hand, the hidden rebellion of many young people who were more interested in pop music than for Arab and African music; on the other, the mixed variety of traditional Algerian vocal music (Chaabi), Bedouin songs, Gnawa traditions, Egyptian film music, French chansons, and the rapidly growing popularity and dynamics of rai. In this complex milieu, the young musician established a broad field of activity. From early on, Karim Ziad played in various groups, including at weddings, which called for an open attitude toward many musical traditions and styles. At twenty, Ziad moved to Paris. There he quickly found access to the diverse multicultural music scene of the French metropolis.For him it was pure luck, for the political developments in Algeria had long since led him to decide not to return to his homeland for a time. And why should he? In Paris he was attracted by jam sessions with other musicians from the Maghreb, by the enthusiasm of the Orchestre National de Barbes, and by a lucrative offer from the famous rai performer Cheb Mami. One of the many fortunate coincidences in Ziad’s life was meeting the guitarist Nguyen Le at a recording session for the Algerian composer Safy Boutelle. In him he found a musical brother: “From Nguyen, I learned a lot about dealing with sound. Although I approach music differently than he does. He is very intellectual. By contrast, I only trust my heart and my ears. My music is essentially more traditional than Nguyen’s.” The two of them forged plans for a joint CD project, which was produced in 1997–98 in cooperation with the WDR and released under the title Maghreb & Friends. Karim was essential to the creation of the album: “It’s really my first record,” as Karim Ziad sums it up in retrospect. Nguyen Le is full of praise for the multi-instrumentalist, for his musical partner familiarized him with the rhythms of North African music and brought him together with young Parisian musicians from the Maghreb. Nguyen Le says of Ziad: “Karim is gaining recognition in French jazz circles for his abilities. He is a ‘complete musician,’ a talented composer, a circumspect coproducer, and a highly original drummer, who not only watches over the tempo and drums like an acrobat but always accompanies the melody as well. Karim is also an expressive singer and plays the gumbri, a Berber instrument known as the ‘bass of the desert,’ perfectly.”In contrast to fashionable trends like Algerian rap (GNAWA DIFFUSION) – the preferred sound for many young people of Moroccan and Algerian origin – Karim is interested in other rhythmic tensions but above all in the Gnawa tradition. His music and his arrangements of traditional themes on Dawi, as on his two previous solo albums, Ifrikya and Chabiba, evoke dreams of North Africa and convey a desire to move and to dance.Karim Ziad’s activity in ensembles is as varied as his playing venues: his band Ifrikya, with musicians from various fields (including the famous Gnawa performer Abdelkbiri Merchane), the Louis Winsberg Trio, Cheb Mami, the Trio Bosilo with Bojan Z and Julien Lourau, and of course his new label boss, Joe Zawinul. Zawinul, probably the jazz musician from the German-speaking world who is best known internationally, and who has a penchant for multicultural exchange among musicians, discovered Karim Ziad in Paris in the late 1990s and immediately invited him to join his band, the Zawinul Syndicate. After working elsewhere, Karim Ziad returned to Joe’s band. There was reason enough to celebrate at the concerts opening the club that would be the band leader’s new domicile: Birdland in Vienna in October 2004. There Ziad was the rhythm leader on the team of percussionists with Aziz Sahmaoui and Arto Tuncboyaciyan, heading the churning percussion ensemble in, among other works, his own compositions (Chabiba and Louange).On Dawi, his third album under his own name, everything is flowing again: the enthusiastic singing, the rhythmic interplay, the tonal shading and differences between East and West and between continents. On his latest work Karim Ziad proves that he has learned a lot in recent years. But see for yourself: it’s worth the trouble!
Karim Ziad - Dawi
Archives Spiral Bound Manuscript Paper Book, 12 Stave, 48 Pages
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