It is currently Sun May 19, 2013 4:21 am
Des wrote:I've just picked up her CD for Â£3 and it's not bad at all.
I note there is no mention of her in the Rough Guide to Africa & the ME (possibly because she's based in the USA?) but she deserves some mention surely? OK what she does is crossover pop, but the music retains enough of an Ethiopian flavour to keep it interesting thanks to Bill Laswell's atmospheric production.
Con Murphy wrote: I agree it would be good to see her at WOMAD, though.
Charlie wrote:I really like the Abyssinian Infinite album, and went to see Gigi live at the Barbican some times after its release. But I left in the interval, dismayed by the overbearing bass of her husband/producer Bill Lawsell, alongside his hand-picked sessionmen who between them reduced Gigi to the status of a backing vocalist at her own gig.
They made no attempt to match the delicate, acoustic sound of the album, and resorted to a typical all-purpose muso sound.
This was a good example of the disappointing gigs that led me to make the controversail remark about preferring records to gigs.
Chris Potts wrote:I'm still smarting 2years+ after reading this, from hearing Tony Cedras and Hamid Drake described as 'hand-picked sessionmen'. These are 2 of the most imaginative and accomplished musicians in the world, members of regular ensembles (Threadgill, Pharoah Sanders etc), and friends and colleagues of Laswell. Cedras' accordion was a key ingredient in the Abyssinia Infinite album you rate so high. The gig I saw on this tour (at Warwick Arts) was one of the most exhilerating concerts I've been to. Laswell's bass was awesome and complementary, and Gigi was on fine shining form. The group (deliberately I thought) operated in a middle ground between the Abyssinia Infinite group album sound and Gigi's more electrified and dub-jazzy solo credited albums.
"typical all-purpose muso sound" - blame the sound desk or the particular night of the gig you saw, but they were great in Coventry, so please don't send them to ..... ( raking up old posts here , sorry !)
Philip Ryalls wrote:I remember thinking that the harsh reviews would scare her away, and I don't believe she has been back (the gig was in May 2005).
Hamid Drake is certainly an interesting musician; there is an extensive discography here:
There was also a feature on him from the Vision Festival on Jazz On 3 a few years back:
One of many Bill Laswell projects are the excellent Panthalassa "reconstructions" of Miles Davis early 70's recordings.
Charlie wrote: . . . Laswell was determined to abandon the fragile sound of the Abyssinian Infinite album, perhaps because he preferred the formumulaic approach of the first Gigi album. I never knew the reasons why Gigi switched labels from Palm Pictures to Network Medien, but formed the impression that the two companies gave different briefs for the producer. . . .
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