Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sangam's Mystical Communion

"On Saturday evening, local duo Stephen Magnusson (on guitar) and Eugene Ball (trumpet) provided a luminous opening set for Sangam - the final headline act of the festival, and one of the most sublime musical performances I have ever had the privilege to witness.

Words simply cannot do justice to the experience of watching these three master musicians (Charles Lloyd, Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland) unite in a spirit of almost mystical communion. Instruments and musical roles were shared and exchanged; cultural traditions were explored, merged and transcended. Lloyd - on saxophone, flute, tarogato, piano and hand-held shakers that hissed like rattlesnakes - was the shaman at the centre of this spiritual force field, as Hussain's tablas engaged in an undulating dialogue with Harland's drums.

Towards the end of the set, the trio was joined by pianist Jason Moran and bassist Reuben Rogers, deepening the music's meditative undercurrent while propelling it towards a series of ecstatic climaxes.

Sangam means confluence, and this concert represented a profound (and profoundly uplifting) meeting of minds, hearts and souls. It was the perfect way to close a festival that has itself become a confluence of ideas, cultures and genres, bringing them together in an intoxicating program that manages to transcend style, eschew elitism and help foster new ways of listening."

Click here for the full review from the Brisbane Times.


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