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Batagraf, John Balke: Say and Play

Say and Play is Batagraf's second album after six years since his "Statements" debut. Batagraf uses drumming "as a language and language harnessed as music: both aspects remain important for this "percussion think-tank" of Norwegian origin, thoroughly international in its aspirations"(http://player.ecmrecords.com/balke/artist, 2012.

On Say and Play, Batagraf plays piano, keyboards, electronics, tungone, darbouka, and percussion. He is joined on the album by the beautiful female vocals of Emilie Stoesen Christensen; kit drummer Erland Dahlen; Helge Andreas Norbakken, on saber, gorong, djembe, talking drum, shakers, and percussion; and Torgeir Rebolledo Pedersen, who contributes poetry reading.

This is an interesting array of percussion, poetry and light jazz. It is completely original in content from anything I've heard lately. The percussion is exceptional as is the keyboard and vocal work by Christensen. Christensen has a voice which immediately reminded me of Bjork.

Azulito, with its beautiful piano, keyboards, and Christensen's voice was easy one of my favorite highlights on the album.

Track Listing:

1 Baka 1:54
2 Everyday Music 5:33
3 Riddle #1 3:33
4 Calmly 4:39
5 Vjup 0:51
6 Tonk 4:59
7 The Wind Calmer 4:30
8 Riddle #2 3:31
9 Azulito 5:03
10 Hundred-Handed 4:48
11 One Change 2:54
12 Winds 3:24
13 GMBH 0:46

Added: March 31st 2012
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Score:
Related Link: ECM Records.com
Hits: 1153
Language: english

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