Isle of Magic (Agogo Records LC 15656, 2013)
With its latest album, Isle of Magic, Italian ensemble Mop Mop demonstrates that it is one of the most interesting percussion-based acts in the current world jazz scene. Led by producer and percussionist Andrea Benini, Mop Mop takes you on a wonderful international trip full of irresistible rhythms from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America.
Mop Mop crosses over into various musical genres. With a jazz base, the band ventures into global beats, American funk and what is described as Italian Postmodern style. The current lineup includes Andrea Benini on drums, percussion, and vocals; Alex Trebo on piano, prepared piano, electric piano, clavinet, and moog synthesizer; Pasquale Mirra on vibraphone and marimba; Guglielmo Pagnozzi on clarinet and flute; Salvatore Lauriola on electric bass; Lorenzo Ternelli on electric bass; and Danilo Mineo on congas, surdo, karkabas, bendir, udu drums, cowbells, and shakers.
In addition to the captivating instrumental music, Mop Mop uses several guest vocalists, mixing regular singing with spoken word. I always find well-crafted spoken word much more interesting and effective than the tired rapping other groups try to insert into their music for commercial purposes.
Guests include trombonist Fred Wesley (James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic), Trinidad-born poet and/singer Anthony Joseph, Finnish-Egyptian vocalist Sara Sayed, Bruno Briscik on double bass and electric cello; Johannes Schleiermacher on baritone sax; Lutz Schlosser on acoustic guitar; Simon Rainer on electric guitar; Lorenzo Gasperoni on congas, bongos, talking drum, jembe, kenkeni, dununbà, shakers; Max Castlunger on steel pan, kalimba, shakers; and Emanuel Valentin on hang.
Free track “Run Around” feat. Fred Wesley & Anthony Joseph (Radio Edit)
Buy the Isle of Magic CD, MP3s or vinyl in North America
Buy the Isle of Magic CD, MP3s or vinyl in Europe
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina titled “Los sueños de Angélica.”.