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Meeting Pool, The
Genre: Format: Track List: Publisher No.: Comments:
CD, Playing time --:-- minutes
(1995) Rykodisc - number not known
In the recording sessions for The Meeting Pool, Cradick is again joined by former Malicorne violinist Paddy LeMercier, who brings Celtic, Cajun, gypsy and Arabic styles to the mix as he did on Spirit of the Forest and on Outback's Dance the Devil Away. Also from Outback is Senegalese percussionist Sagar N'Gom, who has been playing with Cradick since 1989. Keyboardist Tom Green performed with Cradick in the early 1980's, moving on to projects that included work with The Orb. Their mutual appreciation of the Baka's music brought them back together and Green's very organic approach to electronic sounds aids the crossover between acoustic and electronic instruments. Lilting vocals are provided by Hart and her singing partner Kate Budd, who brings to the band Gallic and Swahili influences learned from her Scottish-born, Tanzanian-bred mother. Rounding out the band's live incarnation are drummer Sam Pope (who plays the bodhran on this album) and bassist Mark Pinto, who contributes a London/Caribbean roots and jazz influence to several tracks. Other guest musicians include Ugandan percussionist John Sekitoleko Sempeke and Australian didgeridoo player Mark Robson. While The Meeting Pool combines many musical traditions, the Baka people and their music serve as a singular inspirational thread that runs through all eight tracks. Almost every song references a Baka rhythm or melody, or is inspired by one of Cradick's and Hart's experiences in the forest. "Woosi," the opening track, is a song about the Baka women gathering food and visiting camps. The traditional melody takes an unexpected turn when LeMercier spouts a buoyant "cheetah reel" to finish the track. Cradick plays a ngombi (forest harp) on "Ndaweh's Dream," a song Cradick learned from a Baka elder who composed it about his wife Ndaweh. "Meeting of Tribes" is truly that: Baka drumming anchors an old cornish tune, enhanced by a Wollof rhythm from South Senegal, a dzourna from Turkey, and a didgeridoo from Australia.