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Unknown Publication - Album Review

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  • Unknown Publication - Album Review

    Wingless Angels percussion project a soulful success for Keith Richards

    Brian Jones had his Moroccan Drummers of Joujouka, the Neville Brothers have their Wild Tchoupitoulas tribe of Mardi Gras Indians, and now Keith Richards has his Wingless Angels percussion ensemble. Though Richards-dubbed the 'albino' of the group-keeps a low profile as co-producer and sideman for this Jamaican septet, this sounds like a deeply satisfying project for him. The album underscores an organic connection between the rhythmic and spiritual realms of music, with a soulfulness that the mechanistic Rolling Stones haven't approached in decades.

    Recorded in audio vérité-you can hear the occasional bugs or birds in the back ground-the album features the rough-hewn harmonies of Justin Hines of the Dominoes and three other vocalists over a percussion pulse that predates ska and reggae. This stripped-to-the-bone brand of drumming is seasoned by an occasional guitar or pennywhistle. The material is largely from the hymnal tradition ('Morning Train,' 'Ring Out Mount Zion Bells'), mixed with an occasional reggae classic ('Rivers of Babylon') and American inspirational ringer ('we Shall Overcome').

    The results are incantatory, the effects mesmerizing.

    Posted by: WebCrew
WebCrew's picture
on April 18, 1997

Wingless Angels percussion project a soulful success for Keith Richards

Brian Jones had his Moroccan Drummers of Joujouka, the Neville Brothers have their Wild Tchoupitoulas tribe of Mardi Gras Indians, and now Keith Richards has his Wingless Angels percussion ensemble. Though Richards-dubbed the 'albino' of the group-keeps a low profile as co-producer and sideman for this Jamaican septet, this sounds like a deeply satisfying project for him. The album underscores an organic connection between the rhythmic and spiritual realms of music, with a soulfulness that the mechanistic Rolling Stones haven't approached in decades.

Recorded in audio vérité-you can hear the occasional bugs or birds in the back ground-the album features the rough-hewn harmonies of Justin Hines of the Dominoes and three other vocalists over a percussion pulse that predates ska and reggae. This stripped-to-the-bone brand of drumming is seasoned by an occasional guitar or pennywhistle. The material is largely from the hymnal tradition ('Morning Train,' 'Ring Out Mount Zion Bells'), mixed with an occasional reggae classic ('Rivers of Babylon') and American inspirational ringer ('we Shall Overcome').

The results are incantatory, the effects mesmerizing.

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