Garrison Fewell | The Lady of Khartoum

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Jazz: Cool Jazz Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Lady of Khartoum

by Garrison Fewell

Aural conversations that transcend the common conventions of typical fret-board picking, spanning genres from mainstream to experimental. These improvised dialogues combine jazz and cross-cultural sounds.
Genre: Jazz: Cool Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Prologue: Before The Dream
1:38 album only
2. The Lady Of Khartoum
3:58 album only
3. Dogon Delta Blues
2:36 album only
4. Comfort For An Affliction
6:07 album only
5. Devil At The Salang Pass
3:36 album only
6. Ma'at's Mood
1:08 album only
7. Let's Cool One
2:53 album only
8. Eyes Of Nkisi
1:46 album only
9. A Bourbour's Spell
4:11 album only
10. Loose Life
2:41 album only
11. A Cajun Raven
3:45 album only
12. We Need Your Number
3:46 album only
13. The Returning Serpent
2:36 album only
14. Backyard Free Bop
1:27 album only
15. Farsighted Friendship
6:18 album only


Album Notes
"BEST OF 2008" - AllAboutJazz-New York

Honorable Mention - Best New Release 2008
Garrison Fewell/Eric Hofbauer - The Lady of Khartoum (Creative Nation Music)

Guitarists Garrison Fewell and Eric Hofbauer perform an eclectic series of duets inspired by the deeper roots of jazz in the music of West Africa, Persia and the Arabic-Islamic world. The music juxtaposes ancient traditions with the language and techniques of contemporary improvisation.

"It seemed to both Garrison and Eric that the music of several cultures, reshaped over several tempestuous centuries, pulses through jazz of the 21st century," writes journalist Ed Hazell in the liner notes to the duo's debut, The Lady of Khartoum (CNM 010). "Following the logic of improvisation's eternal present, [they] have synthesized the music of centuries into something organic to the album of music that stepped out of a deeper understanding of history into a deeper knowledge of our common humanity."

Fewell and Hofbauer augment their guitars with preparations, unusual tunings and percussion ranging from African ribbed drum sticks to antique Afghan and Moroccan jewelry to bells from India and the African Yoruba tribe. Their music, most of which is improvised, references such diverse elements as Congolese mythology, Delta blues, Sun Ra, a muezzin's call to prayer and the sonorities of traditional instruments such as the kora and African thumb piano. The duo also adds original compositions to the mix, as well reinterpretations of music by Thelonious Monk and John Tchicai.


Recommended New Release
—Laurence Donohue-Greene, AllAboutJazz-New York

Pick of the week (March 10th, 2008)
—Mike Szajewski, WNUR 89.3 FM

Fewell and Hofbauer are both players acutely aware of the sonic potential their instrument has to offer, and that awareness is one of the many qualities that combine to lift the music on The Lady Of Khartoum well above the run-of-the-mill...the duo's economy lends to the proceedings the kind of dignity that seems like an increasingly rare quality. It all adds up to something special in the sense that the very restricted tonal palette that two guitars can offer is effectively trumped by the wealth of ideas and the sharp musical reflexes of the two players concerned.
—Nic Jones,

...this duet session from Boston-area guitarists Garrison Fewell and Eric Hofbauer both dazzles and beguiles...A diaspora of titles alludes to the wide ranging influences brought to bear through this delightful but uncompromising set...[a] richly rewarding disc, resonant of other cultures and other times, yet firmly of its own.
—John Sharpe,

Like conversations between two distant friends, the dialogs of these skilled improvisers speak of familiar and unfamiliar territories that are at many times intriguing and trans-cultural. The opening dissonant plucks heard on the "Prologue: Before the Dream," the gut-bucket blues in "Dogon Delta Blues," or the rural patchwork of the title selection, all suggest locales that are at once foreign and native. The recording ends with its longest and most emotive number, "Farsighted Friendship," a fitting conclusion to a memorable work of creativity.
—Mark F. Turner,

This seemingly unmatched pair join beautifully in a program of progressive ethnic-influenced music that taps from bop and fusion, Middle Eastern folk forms, and much freedom. What sets them apart, especially evident on the title track, is the resonant use of sticks on strings, combining Arabic inferences with a Western sensibility. Where guitar fans should find this intriguing to the nth degree, the general public interested in improvised music should also find that Fewell and Hofbauer make compelling music worth more that a few listens.
—Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

Their deconstructions are deft and inventive, as is their postmodern reconstruction of “Bye Bye Blackbird” as “A Cajun Raven”. The gorgeous drift of “Farsighted Friendship”, which occupies the same territory as one of Loren Connors’s airs, brings things nicely to a close.
—Brian Marley, The Wire

The Lady of Khartoum is a beauty that emerged as Hofbauer and Fewell discussed their disparate interests—Fewell’s world travels, Hofbauer’s teaching gigs, and “different musical techniques that bridge the cultural divide”...the freely improvised tracks are impressive for their consistent mood. Ten percent of sales from this lucid, affecting CD goes to Mercy Corps.
—Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix



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