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Master Musicians Of Jajouka

"Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan At Jajouka" CD (Point Music/Polygram Records)

The year before Brian Jones left the Stones and drowned in his swimming pool, he went to Morocco to hang with/record these amazing musicians during the Festival of Pan. What he got was this document of frenzied, repetitive group drumming, flutes, chanting, wailing, and such that is totally outside of time. Burroughs describes them as "a 4,000 year old rock n' roll band." While that might make sense to Western ears, it denies the massive spirituality inherent in the music - where the idea is to plug into the days-long groove and in the small subtle breaks of rhythm or tone, find God. Or purity. Or revelation. Or some such high-toned, difficult to convey primordial stuff that most Western music has no contact with. It's the kind of music that finally helps you to grasp the essence of music - that it is not a party or a celebration, but a form of worship. Sadly, Jones and friends put some really stupid effects (flange, chorusing, etc.) on this tape, which was the custom at the time. That doesn't ruin anything, but it does, at moments, drain this wonderful re-release of its fundamental character. Other than that, this album could put your jaw on the floor. (PHILIP)

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Last modified on Wednesday, March 26, 2008