One World Trio Journeys

From Pakistan, Sudan and Canada, with a 20-year residency in South Africa, the members of this trio share an astonishing breadth of musical and cultural experience. Classically trained sitarist Anwar Khurshid brings melodic, dynamic and timbral nuances to every phrase. On "Layover in Madrid," he coaxes delicate expressiveness out of single notes. Matching him in quality and depth of musicality, Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI) master Bruce Cassidy trades phrases and sections with Khurshid, arching melodies, throaty, low-voiced motifs and subtleties abounding. Recorded live, Journeys has moments of trembling intimacy, as when multi-instrumentalist (percussion/bass) Waleed Abdulhamid raises his rich voice to sing an impassioned "Donia (Life)." There are fiery interchanges throughout the entirely improvised nine tracks. "Party at the Casbah" gets seriously intense, with quicksilver back-and-forth phrases and rhythmic patterns handed out. Given the non-traditional traditional nature of this collaboration, the trio can't fall back on long-established practices, so there are occasional moments of tentativeness. The vibe here is of joyous group music making. Taking a musical journey with One World Trio just feels good. (Fikile)