first release: 1997 - catalogue number: CD AGR 009
After I finished "The Dawn of Peeni Waali" -
the first serve ("The Dawn" 1991 - CD 004) - I had already quite a
lot of material together and brooded over how to put the stake higher but continued to
work in the same vein. Naturally, the old contacts came in as a new starting
point / platform.
Every meeting with a new musician meant another pleasurable anecdote. No single
rent a player really occurred. It was always more like an invitation of
respect to become a party of fun and joy to record with. At the same time, I became
involved in a lot of side-productions that fuelled new aquaintances. I became
more self-assured to approach people and eventually, the musicians took a liking to come
over to Switzerland and record in hedonistic conditions.
When I mixed the Cairo band Sharkiat - then hosted on the rootsical Swiss
label Face Music of U.-A. Wethli -
, Ive got to know the kanun player Hossam Shaker.
During his stay he was curious to hear what kind of music Im doing, so I played him
some raw tunes. He took to it immediately, improvised to it for fun and of course, I
didnt take me long to mike him up and he joined the party with another colour,
another exotic touch (sic).
Getting to know LKJ better through the years, naturally I met the players from the
band, e.g. Steve Gregory who in turn was to become the backbone in terms of reeds
for the new album. Steve introduced me to his old friend Georgie Fame, who plays
with Van Morrison as much as Steve did. The link wasnt so farfetched, because
Georgie was also the first British guy to play with Rico as far back as 1962...
While recording another album - also for the Face Music label - of Bolot & Nohon from Altai, the same thing
happened. They were curious to hear some of my stuff. I suggested theyd bring in
their throat vocals on the one harmony riddim "Sleep Dub" to accentuate even
more the monotony but enhance the trance-like feeling you can come into with simplicity.
"Strekosas (Peeni Waali in Altai language) Chant" was also a welcome
change to all the complicated scoring and intricate musical structures of most of the
Sometimes we have to work for vein patrons; people who believe - because they have
money, they can take any liberty, know everything, are allowed any grossness.
One of such producers (sic) produced (more sick) his singing house-wife; an ill-fated
project. On this to be mainstream pop production, I had to cast a set of
skilled accompanying musicians which I found in the trio LArt de Passage from Berlin
who backed Swiss troubadour Linard Bardill at the time. The meeting and working with Rainer
Rohloff (guitar), Stefan Kling (piano) and Tobias Morgenstern was a
revelation for all of us! The relations with these brilliant musicians and nice people
made us quickly forget the initial bad trip of having to work for money-spoiled singers.
We'd rather enjoy the synergies of meeting people - a task specifically affiliated to
making music, don't it?!
With Tobias, I also found a mental brother who understood, what Mensch means.
Tobias immediately took to the idea of exchange and it wasnt all too surprising,
that Morgensterns first solo-album was soon done at Mensch.
Getting to use accordion so extensively, I glanced in the direction of other
typical Swiss instruments such as hackbrett. Although it took me almost 2
years to convince this great player Roland Schiltknecht, eventually, we got
together and out of a very pleasant teamwork grew a tight teamwork that lead into the
production of Schiltknecht's own album for Mensch Records "Tunsch"
. And as so often is, the excellent relationship with Roland led to the "SHA"
album to be released later this year.
And yet another fantastic player joined the round while he was here for another
project: violinist Helmut Lipsky from Montreal,
Canada. Highly skilled, classically trained (a pupil of Izaak Perlman), Lipskys
talented enough to stand above any prejudice of any kind of music and even accepted to
Another anecdote of meeting was with Taj
Mahal. I wanted to do a blues rendering in tribute to my musical mentor Eddie Boyd
(a blues singer from Mississippi with whom I grew up). However, Eddie passed away before
wed finish the tune. While I was recording the bass with Dennis Bovell, I told him
the original plan and mentioned on the side, that Id have to abandon the idea,
because the only voice that could substitute Eddie - if ever - would be
someone like Taj Mahal. Now Dennis was good friends with Taj, count two and two... Next
time, Taj toured in Switzerland he came over and the blues was in the can...
Listening back to the organ takes of Georgie Fame, I thought, the stake could be put
even higher, so I called Barbara Dennerlein.
Wed set the logistics and a few days later, Barbara came over and blew me away by
not only being an extraordinary player, but also a very charming, wit, fun to work with
(and beautiful) woman.
Priviledged to feature an abundance of craftsmanship, it was a big treat to relate to
all these guinuine people. The challenge of making an album by colouring, flavouring and
assembling all sorts of elements in one concept was an incredible task, yet unconventional
and gratifiying; demanding love for detail, humbleness and courtesy.
Give a round applause also to my local musicians: Hubert Osterwalder and my
mates from "Gumbo", Heinz Vetsch, Jack Frei, Pasal Cuche, the late
Laurent Viennet, CÚdric Vuille, Gilles "Dizzi" Rieder,
Momo Rossel, Shirley Hofmann,
Spahni and some others
Anyway... we hope you'll be listening still by the time "Peeni Waali"
will light you up!...