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This great French jazz saxophonist had already made monumental records with all-time legends like Monk, Blakey, Bud Powell and Miles — that's Wilen on Lift To The Scaffold — before cutting loose at the end of the sixties on a two-year journey through Morocco, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Senegal, with a team of film-makers, technicians and musicians.
Moshi means trance utterance — the moshi is a demon invoked by the Fulani Borogi of Niger, to chase away angst and depression — and this is a shamanistic bricolage of smoky musical spells and scraps of intimate, outdoors ambience, full of love, good vibes and gritty musical wonder, drawn from more than fifty tape reels recorded en route: desert blues, space-jazz, street-funk, acid rock, polyphonic rhythms and new-thing influences like Trane, Shepp and Sanders; buzzing, extended ensemble sessions — an alternative Bitches Brew, with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier and percussionist Didier Leon together with Wilen’s saxophones — crossed with diverse snippets of magic grabbed on the wing, like Algerian gnawa, or solo mbira, or just people laughing together, or a Bamako griot…
An eagerly awaited, deluxe reissue of the Saravah landmark, then, by the superb Parisian imprint Souffle Continu, with additional artwork and fastidiously remastered audio. Printed on 200gsm art-paper, the twenty-page booklet features rare pictures and sheet music, together with the original liner notes. Also included is the DVD of Caroline de Bendern’s vivid, freewheeling film A L’Intention De Mlle Issoufou A Bilma, about Wilen’s north African trip.
Inspired, knockabout, luminous music-making. An outernational holy grail and a stiff tonic for all citizens of nowhere. Hotly recommended!