Embryo - Turn Peace (1989)

Peter Michael Hamel, Roberto Detree and Christian Burchard are now so far apart that hardly anyone remembers: they started off together in 1967 at the “Song Parnass” in Munich -each moving in his own direction. Christian built up Embryo, Roberto from Brasil created his own idea of latin-american music and Peter wrote “Kassandra” and “Organum” and made compositions which are still disconcerting for the established avantgarde of Donaueschingen and Darmstadt (avantgardistic and establishment are no contradiction in those places). It is both revealing and quite moving to hear how much the three had to communicate when they got together for Embryo’s Twentieth. Back in 1967/68 Christian Burchard was the vibraphonist of Mal Waldron, the pianist who played with Billie Holliday and John Coltrane and who at least the Japanese recognize for the great musician he is. Just how good the Mal-Chnstian alliance still works can be heard on this record. It is a pity that the other great American musician who was involved in the Embryo evolution – Charlie Mariano – is not to be heard on the record. But in a way he is: when Roland Schaeffer plays the nagasuram, an oboe-like instrument that Mariano studied for years in South India (and so often played with Embryo), you think on hearing Mariano himself, until you realize that it is Roland playing in his own special way – more independent and technically superior. Of course Embryo’s important countries are represented on this record. Marocco by El Houssaine Kill, Nigeria by the Yoruba Dun Dun Ensemble of Lamidi Ayankunie and his friends and India by T.A.S. Mani with his College of Percussion.

The Gimbri, a sort of primitive bass, is played by Houssaine, a Berber. Initially, the playing technique is from Gambia and non other than Jimi Hendrix was influenced by it. The Dun Dun is called piano of the Yorubas and that is how Lamidi plays it, as if it was no drum but a key instrument with a sound range of more than an octave. Erin is the name of the village where the three Nigerians come from and the recording was made in Constance, Germany, so that is the reason for the title “Erin in Constance”.

And the Karnataka College from Bangalore with its incredible intricate yet smoothly interwoven rhythmic layers and lines, is simply one of the world’s most perfect percussion groups and schools -as can be heard in “Rama’s Seven”. If you could hear Kali, the great Indian godness, mother of fire, death and life, I imagine she would sing just like Rama Mani. And there is another point that has to be made: if Christian Burchard and the Embryo musicians had made us aware of only the Karnataka music we should he greatful just for that but they have done the same for us with musicians from all over the world.

I think there isn’t even a group in America that lives World Music like Embryo. It can only be played if you live it, together with the musicians in their own countries and cultures. Those who think they can do without end up sooner or later playing canned music, where World Music has often lead to. That is the reason why I do not wish Embryo a further twenty years. But an Embryo of the Nineties is what I would like for myself and for the numerous friends of the group throughout the world and above all for Embryo themselves!

(Review from spacelook.de)

Studio Album, released in 1989

Tracks Listing

1. Marque's Song (7:03)
2. Velly Velly Good (9:52)
3. Pang (3:02)
4. Rama's Seven (5:25)
5. Govinda (3:24)
6. Abdul (4:16)
7. Präperierte 20 Jahre später (11:01)
8. Erin in Konstanz (3:08)
9. Hob Ou Salam (8:18)
10. Barks (3:39)
11. Lonely Nights (13:10)

Total Time: 71:18


- Ojetunde Ajayi / vocals (8)
- Rabiu Ayandokun / dun dun drum (8-9)
- Lamidi Ayankunle / bata drum (8)
- Hermann Breuer / trombone (6)
- Roman Bunka / oud, guitar, bass (1 to 5), 11)
- Christian Burchard / drums, vibes (1-2-4 to 8, 10-11)
- Paolo Cardoso / bass (6-10-11)
- Roberto Detrée / guitar (7)
- Julius Golombeck / guitar (8)
- Geoff Goodman / guitar (3-6)
- Gerlad Hartwig / percussion (3)
- Peter Michael Hamel / prepared piano (7)
- Edgar Hofmann / saxophone (10)
- Chris Karrer / guitar (8)
- El Houssaine Kili / gimbri, vocals (9)
- Marque Löwenthal / piano (1-2), keyboards (5)
- Rama Mani / vocals (5)
- T.A.S. Mani / mridangam (5)
- Paramashivam Pilai / tavil (1-2-3)
- Larry Porter / piano (3)
- Allan Praskin / saxes (3-6-10)
- Locko Richter / bass (2)
- Dieter Serfas / drums (5-6-8-10-11)
- Roland Schaeffer / nagasuram (1-2)
- Michael Schöne / bass (1-2)
- Shashikumar / mridangam (5)
- Ramesh Shotham / tavil (5)
- Abdul Wahab / percussion (6)
- Mal Waldron / piano (6-10-11)
- Monty Waters / Alto saxophone (6)

> Embryo - Turn Peace (1989)<

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