Kalba, Alluring Ghanaian Xylophone and Global Music

Isaac Birituro and The Rail Abandon – Kalba (Wah Wah 45s, 2019)

Kalba brings together Ghanaian gyil (xylophone) maestro Isaac Birituro and British producer, sound engineer and singer-songwriter The Rail Abandon (Sonny Johns). The remarkable collaboration highlights the mesmerizing, resonating sound of the gyil and the warm, soft vocals of Sonny Johns.

The album is a beautifully-constructed set of songs that masterfully interweave Ghanaian music, jazz, world music, and English folk. The finely-crafted arrangements include African and Afro-Cuban drums, captivating flutes, a jazz horn section, tasteful synthesizer; and virtuosic chamber strings.

Isaac Birituro and The Rail Abandon – Kalba

The lineup includes Isaac Birituro on gyil and vocals; Sonny Johns on vocals, guitar, bass and drum machine; David Sorrah on congas; Godfred Sernyor on congas; Sebastian Rochford on drum set; Casablanca on gome and maracas; Kasim Kada on palago; Vincent Lapitey on gongas; Aminu Amadou on talking drums; Liran Donin on electric bass; Elliot Galvin on synthesizers; Raph Clarkson on trombone; Laura Jurd on trumpet; Mark Lockheart on tenor sax; Josienne Clarke on tenor saxophone; Leafcutter John on overtone flute; Dela Botri on flutes; Garance Lewis on accordion; Zosia Jagodcinska on cello; Sophie Cameron on violin; Alison D’Souza on viola; Queen Aisha, lead vocals on “So Ma”; Helen Dompkier, lead vocals on “La Cocina”; and the Kaiba Birifore Choir.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.
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