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JAZZ CORNER Presents: Noura Mint Seymali - Tzenni (2014)


Noura Mint Seymali 'Tzenni' (Glitterbeat, 2014)

Tzenni is one of my favorite records from 2014.  Ms. Seymali fronts a North African power rock quartet with her beautifully ecstatic vocal style and her husband tears it on guitar. The rhythm section is more a foundation for the guitars and vocals to soar over, but when I saw these guys live in upstate New York, they had an almost 7 foot bass player and he was pretty funky. Quietly funky but right there.
They are from North Africa and sport a rockier version of Tinariwen's sound, another band you should check out but stick with their efforts from the early 00s.  Seymali plays a traditional stringed instrument but it's pretty subdued compared to her husband's playing, which is sinuous, trippy and rocking.
The tune, clipped below, opens up the record and is more mid tempo than some of the later tunes on the record.
And here's the title track:
I checked her website and she is playing 9 European festivals over the course of the summer. I urge folks to go check her and the band out as you don't get to see this sort of guitar playing very often.

Review made by Steven Walcott/2015
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