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Music: The Universal Language
on October 5, 2005
There's a timeless quality in music that stretches from the earliest humans to the present, and around the world with a fine-tooth comb. Everyone is affected, and that's why music is oftentimes referred to as the Universal Language.
Jack DeJohnette and Foday Musa Suso experiment with native rhythms and primitive melodies that could come from any region of the globe. Their instruments, as well, can be found just about anywhere. A congenial stringed instrument alongside underlying percussive patterns allow these two veteran artists to draw from common ancestral influences as they improvise.
Pleasant in all aspects, their collaborative performance mesmerizes, soothes, and reflects a kindred spirit. However, they rely on repetitive phrases, repeating cascades, and like rhythms to express each idea, resulting in a session with little variation. Again and again, they roll out similar refrains that lull the audience toward a sleepy afternoon's pleasures.
DeJohnette's drum kit follows the norm, as he emphasizes snare drum, tom-tom and bass drum textures. His crisp articulation and supportive rhythms give the session an underlying current of thunder. Suso's harp-like lyrical catchphrases rebound against a soft layer of "warm fuzzies," giving the session its gentle perspective. Together, they drone for an hour, repeating themes that portray the becalming quality of their music.
It's one of the fundamental purposes for the creation of music: to soothe. DeJohnette and Suso achieve their goal, while the listener is left wanting a little variety.