This Sunday Music Muse Day has me featuring two young band leaders that are new to me, but shared a sideman in common, guitarist Lionel Loueke. First, Oran Etkin kelenia, an Israeli musician who's group sound "developed over the course of a decade ...working with various African musicians in the US and in Mali'.." (from the liner notes). The core quartet is Etkin on tenor sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet, Balla Kouyate on balafon (West African gourd-resonated xylophone), Makane Kouyate, on calabash (large gourd), and Joe Sanders on bass. The CD also features musician guests, including Lionel Loueke on various tracks and plays various African instruments and a cello and violin. Another incentive to try this CD was the label mentioning it was heard on "PRI's Afropop Worldwide" radio program, which alway a favorite of mine for modern African pop music not normally heard the on radio. Thus CD is definitely worth a listen on that point alone.
Next up, with a Lionel Loueke connection, is Marius Neset Circle of Chimes, a eight piece group lead by the Norwegian saxophonist and recorded on January 2016 in Copenhagen. Again, this group I may not have picked up on except for guitarist Loueke. I'm glad I did it has some interesting ensemble music all composed and arranged by Marius Neset. It's nice to step outside my usual tastes and try something new.
I'll be giving bot of these CD plenty of listening.