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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion

Conjure

By Robert Kaye
Published March 16, 2007

Bad Mouth
American Clavé
AmCL 1052/1053

Here’s yet another edgy release produced by producer, director, writer/arranger, conductor, and facilitator Kip Hanrahan. Conjure was started some 25 years ago to surround Ishmael Reed’s poems with quality music. The depth of Reed’s poetic expression has remained constant, as has the caliber of musicians with whom Hanrahan has aligned himself. Drummers Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Robby Ameen and Dafnis Prieto all add their percussive prowess, while bassists Fernando Saunders and Anthony Cox lay down impenetrable grooves. Add to that impressive roster violinist Billy Bang, blues guitarist Alvin Youngblood and saxophonist David Murray and you have a visceral project deserving of acclaim. Songs like “For Dancer,” “Tokyo Woman Blues” and “Louisiana Red” are cases in point. Thankfully after nearly a decade of being “import only,” the label has once again signed with a US distributor, thereby enabling its stellar releases to reach domestic ears. It is, after all, American clavé.