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CODONA

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock • Multi-National


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Codona biography
CODONA is a fusion jazz trio born during the late 70's. CODONA's name is derived from the leading letters of the first names of its three members. It has an Indian feel due to the presence of sitar/tabla player Collin Walcott ("co"). He is accompanied by the trumpeter Don Cherry ("do") who is a founder of free jazz, (notably worked with the Indian jazz fusion artist L. Shankar), the adventurous Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos ("na"), also known for his work with the Pat Metheny Group. Next to Walcott personal "eastern" touch, this project is also a great fusion between several "world" influences, from Africa, to Japan. Three "eclectic", "ethereal" albums have been released for ECM. They are all essential for fans of "world" fusion jazz music.

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Codona 2Codona 2
Ecm Records 2000
Audio CD$49.99
$14.97 (used)
Codona 3Codona 3
Ecm Records 1994
Audio CD$29.21
$9.01 (used)
CodonaCodona
Ecm Records 1994
Audio CD$22.99
$19.99 (used)
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CODONA discography


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CODONA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.98 | 20 ratings
Codona
1979
3.89 | 8 ratings
Codona 2
1981
4.15 | 28 ratings
Codona 3
1983

CODONA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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CODONA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Codona Trilogy
2009

CODONA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CODONA Reviews


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 Codona 2 by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.89 | 8 ratings

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Codona 2
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Continuing where they left off on their debut album CO-llin Walcott, DO-n Cherry and NA-na Vasconcelos continue their experimental fusion of American jazz, various African styles and Indian influences but this time around they up the experimental ante a notch or two and require the listener to invest a few more listens in order to understand where they are coming from. Upon first listen I didn't like this as much as the debut. Whereas the debut CODONA album kind of had a logic to where they were coming from, this second album throws you for a loop. It's not that it's ridiculously lost in the clouds and creates a whole new musical experience, it's just that the melodies are more intricate and subtle and there are more liberties in the individual instruments creating separate and distinct roles which don't immediately sound pleasant and even ring a little dissonant at times. The band, in effect, are demanding that you evolve as they do in order to understand their progression.

There are all kinds of differences here. For one the band likes to expound on certain ideas. They present a theme and then kind of throw in an extended weirdness, or perhaps you would call it musical variation. On "Malinye" for example, a 12:39 progressive walk through fusion-land, there is an introductory cohesiveness to the song but it changes into a wild vocal frenzy that then turns into an African instrumental affair that incorporates many an ethnic flair to the mix. This is one of the major accomplishments of CODONA, which is the progressive fusion of hitherto unmixed styles of world music. Despite all my praise trying to elevate this album to such heights, I still like it a tad less than the debut, however it is very much recommended for fusion freaks who like a bit more bite and unexpected tumult to their music. This album can be quite exciting and surprising at moments but for an overall appreciation must be heard a few times. A particular sound that remains unique in the musical world as far as I know. I also really like how DO-n Cherry makes his trumpet sound like an elephant at times. 3.5 rounded up

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 Codona by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Codona
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Other than Shakti I have found most other artists listed as Indo / raga jazz fusion don't sound very Indian or raga, rather having the title based on more of a drone that is influenced by such exotica. CODONA is an obvious exception with Indo / raga just bursting into the scene from the getgo with sitars, tablas, dulcimers, timpanis and other exotic elements such as droning chanting vocals in the background adding a Tibetan getaway feel to the whole thing.

CODONA was a trio of talented musicians and cleverly the name of the group is the combination of the first two letters of each of the member's first names: CO-llin Walcott, DO-n Cherry, NA-na Vasconcelos. How's that for democracy? The band released three albums from 1978-82 with this eponymous release being the first. This kind of music probably sounds somewhat familiar since world fusion has blossomed and repeated itself a million-fold since this was released, but this 70s collaboration is dripping with a sublime soul and innovative phrasings that leave me feeling transported to the time and place that this was constructed when the world wasn't quite such a global village and the results of which seem exotic even by today's standards.

Collin Walcott was a disciple of Ravi Shankar and generously handles all of the Indian instruments previously mentioned while the presence of Don Cherry more often associated as a free jazz solo artist as well as with his works with Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra and a gazillion others offers his trumpet and free jazz talents to the mix. He not only blows his horn but also throws in a few flute performances and his lesser known talents on doussn'gouni, an African percussion instrument. Nan Vasconcelos is a Brazilian Latin jazz percussionist and berimbau (looks like a Chinese erhu) player. He handles all percussion, the cuica, talking drum as well as his signature berimbau.

The music on this album is sensual and light, contemplative and only subtlety complex as the instruments weave around each other but never deviate from the main musical frame. All is designed to support the other on this meditative trip around the globe. This is light and fluffy music that makes you feel like you are on the verge of an astral trip or in another realm of consciousness altogether. Whereas Shakti was all about the highest tempos possible, CODONA has no problem letting the music breathe in and out just like a student of vipassana would allowing the soul to contemplate every beautiful construct and enigmatic insight the universe has to offer.

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 Codona 3 by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.15 | 28 ratings

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Codona 3
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Healing power

Let me start out by saying, that if you happen to be a fan of the smooth ECM sound, then you should feel right at home with this one. It just might be your entrance to the world of ethnic music - one that bonds together with an ethereal fusion touch that lingers in your brain long after the album has stopped.

I had a rough night yesterday. I drank the equivalent of a small lake in beer - mixed gin with chocolate milk - saw women in festive Germanic Alp dresses, -all of this in a place called Heidi's Bierbar. While the experience was rather fun and poles apart from my normal partying behaviour, this morning and still going strong, is a thundering headache prevailing - one that feels like I've stuck my head into a blazing jet engine. Now why on earth should I tell you all of this, you may be asking yourself? Well for one thing this album almost cured my hangover with its gentle and soothing fingers. It is a record that 'breathes' for lack of a better word. In addition to that, it also feels like having a beautiful woman lick your elbow.

Coupled together by the 3 musicians' names, Codona en-capsule the bridging between the east and west that started back in the 60s. Collin Walcott (sitar, tabla, voice, hammer dulcimer, sanza) Don Cherry (organ, pocket trumpet, cornet, voice, dusongoni) and Nana Vasconcelos (percussion, voice, berimbau, Indian bells, caxixi, brushes/snare drum, train whistle, triangles) all came from different musical pastures, but for some inexplicable reason, here they genuinely sound like sonic triplets. The jazz stylings of Don Cherry seem to work wonders outside of their regular playground, and interjecting them in Indian percussive soundscapes adds a rather unique shading to the feel of the trumpet.

Speaking about the trumpet, if you've ever heard that cool-cat-slick-Rick-morning-dew sound of the early Miles albums - then you're not entirely far off Cherry's sound, even if I think the way he phrases on that thing is highly original - and somewhat endemic to himself. On 3 it sounds like he was recorded inside the belly of a huge cathedral. It sounds so lonely and sad, that you almost wish you could reach through the album and give it a hug - telling it that the world only feels grey and dead, when you turn away from love.

Then we have the rhythm section, which probably shouldn't be referred to as such. The interplay of Walcott and Vasconcelos is much more than that. It is like a tribal meeting of melodic percussions, that more than anything assimilate what a raw piano is capable of, when used in its most primal form.

Whether it flourishes in the deep belching splashes of the tablas - or it is suggested through the berimbau, also known as a Capoeira guitar, - the ghost of the bass is always there in some form or another. I think it most acute and accomplished that 3 is totally bereft of said instrument, yet still sounding complete, full and rather vivacious and deep.

Both the opening piece Goshakabuchi and the closer Inner Organs are personal favourites of mine, although the whole album is stunning. These two tracks overflow with imaginative sprees, that take the listener into a beautiful levitating universe of music that truly sounds like a descending snowflake in an Indian desert. As much as I hear the desolate and ethereal fusion as well as those Indian instrumentations - what these really convey to me, is the same sort of ambiances I get from the more laid back Krautrock releases. Especially Inner Organs hover in those German surrealistic realms that speak volumes of a bewitching infatuation of music that dares to be slow and obscure in its expression. It challenges the listener to get in there - like a musical daydream trying to allure you and detour you all at the same time.

All of this is done in a way that is as enamouring and welcoming as a big soft Saint Bernhardt, and to those of you who normally don't venture out beyond the borders of the English speaking world, this album just might be the thing for you. Codona 3 is recommended to anyone into the ECM sound - as well as people with a thing for gentle and evocative trumpet cries served up with a spicy and endearing tangy eastern sauce.

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 Codona 3 by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.15 | 28 ratings

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Codona 3
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Kazuhiro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Brain of ECM exactly. Aesthetics requested from this Codona for Manfred Eicher. And, the speculation comes true to the proposal to give to Collin Walcott. And, Oregon that ECM acquired at this time exists. Answer that musicians to act and work that Manfred Eicher did in the latter half of the 70's got. It might have exactly given the creation of stateless music and Jazz by uniting and one establishment.

Of course, the album of Oregon announced by ECM might have had overwhelming existence and directionality as stateless music that had exactly caught the age at this time. The continuousness of the atmosphere and the anacatesthesia might have been able ..one-top.. to face it. And, musicians who had exchanged the exchange in the flow that it faces this Codona had the flow that derived further indeed with the hand of ECM.

Collin Walcott appeared in New York in 1945. The sitar is learnt to Ravi Shankar or teaching Tabla has been received to Alla Rakha. The album that existence and Collin Walcott of Oregon that ran side by side in the situation in which it faced this Codona when talking about the existence of "Codona" and the music character had announced might have produced the nucleus and the flow. Of course, there might have been a scheme by Manfred Eicher, too.

The speculation that Manfred Eicher had given at this time came true exactly. "Grazing Dreams" that Collin Walcott had announced in 1977 was a content that exactly showed existence and the technology of Collin Walcott in overwhelming shape. Of course, the music done based on the music character that Oregon had done opened the overwhelming might. Manfred Eicher saw through the existence of Don Cherry that participated in this "Grazing Dreams". This meeting develops into Codona. Codona formed by proposing Manfred Eicher might have had a real flow of World Music that had worked at each p besides the music character of Oregon.

Codona had to lower a curtain in shape to leave three albums in the activity as a result. However, the chemical reaction that Codona had done challenged the creation of music with the action not to feel the nationality exactly. The existence of the regular band , for example, Oregon and Codona that had been held for ECM at this time might have been valuable.

Therefore, the traffic accident that overcame it in the middle of the tour that Oregon had done was big shock for the member and ECM. Collin Walcott dies as a result in 1984. ECM's losing both Oregon and Codona at the same time resulted. The activity of Codona ends as a result with this album. "Ecotopia" was announced as other Oregon also added Trilok Gurtu in 1987. However, ECM parts with Oregon as a result. However, it is partial that the music character of Oregon and this Codona to which ECM was mainly done at this time pursued. It might be one result that the atmosphere of good Jazz for the music character not to feel the nationality exactly is united. The chemical reaction that Codona did was a result of the speculation of member's overwhelming creativity and ECM splendidly uniting exactly. Sound of Don Cherry that demonstrated flexibility with an overwhelming sense of existence. And, the taste of real Brazil of Nana Vasconcelos that shows a complete technology. And, Collin Walcott well versed in the music of India exists. This slight uniting was one action that exactly exceeded the frame of the session. Wonderful music for the music character of Codona to exceed the nationality was being offered. The music character that the idea of three people unites with the technology might always have had good establishment.

"Goshakabuchi" is a tune with atmosphere that looks like the melody and the folk song that exists in the culture and the history in Japan. The tune of Japan that corresponds to this name of a song cannot be actually found. Or, they guess that they created a Japanese sound and melody of the name of a song researching. Racial melody and anacatesthesia that trumpet plays. And, the sound of the percussion instrument with decorated effect. India. Brazil. Central Asia. Establishment of one music that exceeds a few Jazz and nationality. The action of the melody that unites a traditional culture of Japan in that is splendid. Expression of sound of nature with percussion instrument. And, the melody of Hammered Dulcimer expressed with the same wavelength. The tune depicts complete Groove by the appearance of Tabla. Three ensemble that does is complete. Musical instruments sing by musical instruments completely in union.

"Hey Da Ba Doom" is a flow of steady Grrove with the percussion instrument. And, it is technological of complete Berimbau of Nana Vasconcelos. And, a voice and an impressive chorus. The rhythm and the melody drawn out by a minimum unit give an intoxicated impression. One space made by repeating the flow is a creation for them.

In "Travel By Night", the melody with a mysterious impression in a steady rhythm is a feature. The anacatesthesia of the trumpet in close relation to Berimbau. And, the melody of the sitar that rides on the stream creates music as an impression without the nationality. It will have an exactly good action. A melody and a rhythm advanced as the tension is made to exist together to the anacatesthesia continue good atmosphere.

"Lullaby" starts by the melody with the flow of good harmony. The impression that the melody is intoxicated is continued. The idea that Codona has will not become weak. The continuing melody exactly removes race's boundary. The continuation of the melody that excludes the decoration of the extra creates a good flow.

In "Trayra Boia", the collage by coming in succession of the voice is a feature. Part of melody that values solemnity and space. Possibility by voice. Continuousness of harmony and tension of melody. The maximum charm that Codona has is exactly offered. The composition, the anacatesthesia, and the blissout that processes the space have a good flow. This taste of three people is expressed well.

The sitar and Berimbau make Groove in "Clicky Clacky". It might be a tune that especially values Groove in the tune collected to this album. Musical instruments such as whistles and Kazoo might be introduced. And, the melody and Groove that the sitar makes. The flow that looks like elements of a few Jazz has an interesting part.

As for "Inner Organs", the trumpet and the percussion instrument that calculates the space twine round the flow with atmosphere that looks like the hymn. A tension that may continue one space and an intoxicated composition are continued. It might be exactly understood to have created the music character that Codona transcends national borders. Enchantment voice and continuation of rhythm with percussion instrument. And, the sound of the organ that twines with the length. The tune receives the top. The flow that the member produces while continuing the tension in union might be a field that cannot be exactly done except Codona. Exactly complete chemical reaction.

The answer to the creation of the music character that Manfred Eicher had proposed might have been derived by Codona. The music that they had done was an exactly original creation though uniting and the creation of three people with an overwhelming technology were concluded by this album.

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 Codona by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.98 | 20 ratings

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Codona
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by victor77

4 stars What I great surprise when I first listened to this record, because what seemed to be a world music record turned into a great effort of three of the best musicians in jazz and fussion. It is impossible for me to separate each song, because all of them are a great piece of risky, relaxing, enjoyable music, none of them less than each other, and every musician takes his role with great intensity. Although much in the vein of improvisation, thes result is great record in which each of the pieces take sense on the whole result. It is also difficult to find similarities with other bands of records, maybe thinking about EMBRYO in its atmospheric way, or maybe SHAKTI in a realxed tempo, but CODONA is still quite different to all of them. Of course, it is not a rock record in the traditional meaning, but if you are a listener who enjoy discovering new worlds, this record is for you.

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 Codona 3 by CODONA album cover Studio Album, 1983
4.15 | 28 ratings

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Codona 3
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Third chapter of the side project Codona, this album is a pure beauty. If you desire to relax and spend a fairy musical adventure don't go elsewhere, this album has all the ingredients to convince you. What I highly appreciate in this "world" jazz trio is the authenticity, there's nothing superficial or new age here, each composition submits a dense, mystical "voyage" to the listener. The trumpet of Don Cherry draws marvellous melodies, formidably accompanied by a wide range of "exotic" percussions from everywhere. The Sitar of Collin Walcott stays discreet but it provides subtle meditative soundscapes (in the mysterious 'travel by night'). "He da ba doom" is made of repetitive percussions, the psych and physical sensations delivered is near to a state of trance. "Lullaby" is a calm "raga" like song. "Inner organs" is a fascinating "atmospheric" jazzy tune with trumpet and a deep organic, linear sound. One of my absolute favourites from the classic ECM catalogue...Codona 3 is a work of incredible magic, a perfect alchemy between pluri-ethnical influences.

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