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Codona - Codona 3 CD (album) cover




Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

4.13 | 44 ratings

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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.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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