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Jack De Johnette & Foday Musa Suso - Music from the Hearts of the Masters - 2006


Fromthe Hearts of the Masters is the meeting between two undisputed masters of their instruments, Foday Musa Suso (innovator and master griot of the kora), and Jack De Johnette, one of the best drummers today, creating a sublime game and an exciting experience for the ears thanks to the inspired improvised dialogue between drums and kora.

As a conductor, songwriter and drummer, Jack De Johnette has collaborated with some of the most recognizable and innovative musicians of our time, including the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Carlos Santana, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and Path Metheny.

Regarded as one of the greatest jazz drummers, De Johnette, originally influenced by such masters as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, has delved into sources beyond jazz. A restless artist, never willing to stay established in a line to be labeled, he has described his work as "multi-directional music" for more than thirty years.

Foday Musa Suso is an internationally recognized musician and griotmandingo (musician / oral historian of the Mandingo people), born in Gambia. Suso grew up in a society where griots function as "walking libraries," singing his stories for the community while providing history, wisdom, and entertainment.

Besides his virtuosity with the kora and singing, Suso is also a percussionist and composer. After years of rigorous study in his homeland, he settled in Chicago in the 1970s. Since then he has performed throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Interested in traditional and innovative languages, Suso has traveled and recorded with a variety of prominent musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Philip Glass, Pharoah Sanders, Ginger Baker, and Medeski, Martin and Wood. Suso is considered a musical pioneer, giving a new dimension to the traditional and spiritual aspect of the kora with the use of new technologies.

The first meeting between De Johnette and Susofué behind the scenes of a Philip Glass concert at London's Festival Hall, where they decided to work together, with Suso arriving in New York in January 2002. As De Johnette points out, "there was an immediate chemistry" . The duo spent four days in the studio, including two days of rehearsals and tests. In these short but intense sessions, Fromthe Hearts of the Masters was created, being the first edition (in 2006) of Jack De Johnette's new record label, Golden Beams. In Suso's own words, "everything we play together is like we've been doing it for thirty years or more ... whatever song Jack performs he gives rhythms that work like magic."

From the Hearts of the Masters contains deep sounds and hypnotic passages of inspired improvisation through the dialogue of the instruments. Once the melodies are established, the artists rise above them, providing a totally different dimension to this unconventional pairing of kora and drums, transcending labels. Two masters who create a sublime game, De Johnette's drums as the perfect complement to Suso's virtuous performance on the kora. 

Tracks list:

01. ocean wave

02. ancient techno

03. rose garden

04. worldwide funk

05. kaira

06. mountain love dance

07. party

08. voice of the kudrus

09. sunjattakeita

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