Don’t Be A Stranger
Don’t be a stranger is the project of Dutch musician Onno Krijn. Throughout several years he recorded world music artists at his studio. “I met most of them while working as arranger/musical director for the multicultural theater shows that Leoini Jansen created and staged, notably ‘Made in Holland,’ a tribute to diversity,” says Krijn.
All the arrangements and keyboard programming were made by Krijn. The result is a varied collection of musical pieces, ranging from the ethereal to laid back blues sounds. The producer recognizes the influence of Canadian musician Michael Brook: I’d say you can compare it to the “One giant leap” album, or some of the albums Michael Brook did on the Real World label with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or David Gasparyan. It’s definitely cross-over, world fusion.”
The world music artists span many countries. Tibetan singer Namgyal Lhamo provides her voice on the dreamy “Changkha.” “Immamachin” is a bluesy piece with West African musicians with an American steel guitar player.
The lengthy “Calcutta Candy” combines jazz with Qawwali and Indian music. “Bagdad” introduces Iraqi singer Farida, accompanied by her brother, qanun player Jamil al Asadi, and the Amsterdam Viola Quartet. The song is about Baghdad in all its present misery. “I structured and orchestrated this improvisation. The result is a heart-wrenching track.”
Bluegrass, blues and Bao Sissoko’s kora jam on “Daan’De Cheeli,” featuring the vocals of Omar Ka. It’s followed by “Love Song,” a beautiful otherworldly song featuring the gorgeous voice of Leoni Janaen, inspired by Ireland’s W. B. Yeats.
“Noero” is intriguing. It sounds like desert blues, but the musicians come from Ethiopia, Senegal and the Moluccas.
The Tibetan sound return on “Phala Miggchik,” featuring the delicate voice of Namgyal Lhamo.
Get ready for a very long sax solo on “Wo Mbari.” The Afro-Jazz piece features a lengthy sax solo by Ben van der Dungen, accompanied by drums and the vocals of Serigne Gueye.
The CD closes with a peaceful campfire atmosphere on “Circle Round a Fire,” with musicians from Senegal, Netherlands and Canada.
This unexpectedly beautiful album took several years to complete. “It took me almost three years to finish One, mainly because I could never work on it full time.”
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.