Thursday 29 February 2024

When it comes to global, jazz, funk and spiritual sounds, Shay Hazan's album 'Wusul' is going to be hard to beat in 2024, if not impossible!

'Wusul' (Arabic for 'arrival' - Shay became a Dad 3 months ago) certainly marks a musical turn up for the books, like a 12 track mainline terminal station with hot sand falling from ya sandals; or more accurately Shay's synths, guimbri, guitar and percussion . 

This sounds another but a one man band, the killer track 'Sunflowers' featuring the keys of Nitai Hershkovits which fades just as they get into a Mulatu afro-jazz groove; WHY? Even so, it's definitely "uplifting and danceable masterpiece". But don't worry as there's more guest and diversions on tracks to follow.

The core band joining Shay, Tal Avraham (trumpet), Eyal Netzer (tenor sax) and Shahar Haziza (drums) must have had a great time recording all this original Hazan compositions (the quieter/reflective/traditional 'Yarabi' being the one exception).

The guimbri is a traditional instrument of Morroco (lots of Morroco around at the moment like DJ/producers Omary and Dj Medi - perhaps they'd be up for a housey remix?) but in the hand of Shay it's hard to tells as his productions sound as much mod-twangy guitar and wild 70s synth.

There's a listening party on bandcamp today at 7pm (28th February - so tune in) and you'll hear the album open with 'Dew' which is like a jazz morning but it really gets cooking with 'Oladipo' that's like a desert blues mixed with Sun Ra (when he was hanging out with Astatke) with Fela hanging around.  'A Bite Of Sand', with it's Tinariwen twang at the wadi is hypnotic as the guimbri sounds like a harp at times. 'A Walk In Dir El-Assad' and 'Yooltz' are more on the danceable side with slips into Afro-jazz-2step-Joe Meek whilst and 'Shimo Kitazawa' is like a Japanese inspired 'Wusul' dub.

If there's one track that encapsulates the album it's probably 'Vide Jadid' but I wish that all the tracks were as long as the 5 minute 'Street Souls'; which links in nicely with the closing track 'Riff Raff' which is dedicated to the guys that live in the street outside of his studio and represents the 'thin walls' that separate us (all for that matter).  

People will want to experience this album livee/on tour (are there plans? I'll keep you posted) but if you can't make it to a gig, this album and his 2021 debut 'Reclusive Rituals' (both on Batov) are highly recommended.

Artist: Shay Hazan 

Title: Wusul وصول 

Release date: 1st March, 2024

Label: Batov Records 

Cat. No: BTR088

Format: Vinyl / Digital / Bandcamp


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