Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Photo by Manfred@thisfabtrek.com

"Inside the vital Gnaouan circle of drumming, I was linking up disparate bits of musical teaching, connecting threads running back through those tonic rhythms that had first stirred me in youth...Here were the cadences, figures, and motifs I'd heard Elvin Jones play in New York with Coltrane, embedded within a continuous culture: drumming as conversation, healing, and sustenance. Preserved through exile and slavery, the Gnaouan drummers still exorcised and entertained in the markets and oases of southern Morocco. The rehabilitating energies of the drums acted directly upon me, assuaging months of drifting and doubt. Emotions rose and receded, mixing with tears and smiles. I felt restored, filled with a new desire to play. I'd arrived at what I'd come south to find."

excerpt from Native State: A Memoir

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