Hang With You (Naïve, 2013)
American world traveler and multi-instrumentalist Steve Shehan explores new resonances in his latest album, Hang With You. As soon as you start listening to Hang With You, you’ll notice the metallic sound of an instrument that sounds somewhat similar to a Trinidadian steelpan, but not quite the same. It’s a new instrument called the hang that let’s you play with your hands (rather than mallets), consisting of two hemispherical steel shells.
The han, played by Shehan, provides a beautiful, yet unfamiliar element to the music, making it seem otherworldly. Musically, the album crosses boundaries, incorporating elements of jazz, classical and traditional music influences from various parts of the globe.
The lineup on Hang With You includes Steve Shehan on hangs, crotals hang, space drum, piano, keyboards, bass, trumpet, and the following percussion instruments: bowed bells, sagattes, brushes, Berber brushes, floor tom, angklung, bendirs, daf, castanets, ringcik, cymbals, caxixi, mali bells, tambourine, afuche, bell tree, triangle, tuned mongs & gongs, cowbell, oud, saz, tuned udu & hadgini, bass calabash, riq, cymbals, udus, lotar, waterphone, jembe, sticks, tuned bass gongs, springs reco, claves, terompong, palm tree playing, taharijit oasis mauritania, surdo, parts of crystal organ, floor tom; breathing voices.
The rest of the band features Golshifteh Faharani on vocals, space drum; the rising star of world music and world jazz Ibrahim Maalouf on trumpet; Ugo Rabec and Virginie Basset on violin; Charlotte Castellat on cello; Didier Malherbe (from legendary psychedelic rock band Gong) on duduk; Charles Lucas on bass, stratospheric basses; Peter Herbert on acoustic bass; and Baly Othmani on vocals and poetry in ‘Tamachek.’
Other guests include Peter van Shaekis on piano; Vladiswar Nadishana on bansuri, ney, hulusi; Nicolas Genest on flugelhorn; Jimmy Braun on hang; Alexis Faucomprez on musical saw; Dunia on t’bel; Okna Tsahan Zah on kalmuc voice; Isabelle Cauchy on vocals; and Bobo Lemoine provides the pygmy hunt call.
“It’s a new adventure for me, and an obvious dare in my path, my initial “vow” , my musical karma: to gather this family of music instruments into an unexpected creative musical universe, still widely unexplored, and to give this instrument the recognition it deserves in the global instrumentarium,” says Shehan. “I wish to confront this process to situations where these sounds were unexpected, either through improvisation, jazzy, ethnic, experimental, baroque style, Beatles-like, orchestrated, or as a solo.”
Steve Shehan was born in the United States, the son of a Native American Cherokee father and a French mother. He is a globetrotting musician who has performed percussion with famous artists from the fields of rock, world music, and English-language and French song scenes.
Steve Shehan is a member of the Hadouk Trio and has composed and produced 15 albums over a period of twenty years. He also composed film soundtracks, contributed to many recordings and collaborated in studio and on stage with various worldwide renowned artists.
Hang With You won the prestigious Tais Awards, the top music awards for music excellence given in the Czech Republic & Slovakia.
Hang With You is an exceptionally good album with an extraordinary array of traditional and new sounds, building exhilarating musical bridges between various music cultures of Africa, the Middle East, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
Buy Hang With You
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 produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and 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. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.