Jeff Gardner about Youcef Boukella
Oh, yeah... we were supposed to, but it's sort of in the air, there were engineering problems. Soon I'll be doing a project with Youcef Boukella on bass and vocals, Karim Ziad, who has been Cheb Mami's drummer for a long time, and quite probably Miguel Anga on percussion. We played several nights in a row with that quartet in a club that closed a little while ago, l'Arganier. It's a blend of the experience of all of us, from Cuba to Algeria and New York. It cooked! Youcef and Karim took my music and put some Gnawa singing on top, ritual singing from the mountains of Morocco, a really original trance music, and it really worked. Youcef has been playing with me since 1984. I met him in Algeria, when I went to the Algiers festival. They had a great jazz festival there. We're hoping to mix up lots of different flavors, working on the principle that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.