UNTOLD finds the band Tales of Tala crossing a wide and varied musical landscape. No maps are needed, using the sense of direction and diverse talents of aDutch bass player, a German saxophonist, a Hungarian jazz violinist, a Palestinian ud player and a Bangla Desh percussionist (in geographically clockwise order).
There is a starting point: the Dutch city of Utrecht has been a nexus of musical meetings on world-scale since the eighties. All that time bass player Tjitze Vogel and saxophonist Paul Weiling have been major connectors in this hub and not just by themselves: mixing music in Utrecht has become serious business.
To power up their toolbox Vogel and Weiling listened to Greece, Spain, Africa, the Arab world, India and China. Not just to feather their caps with exotic plumage but to fit new ideas into new music. The essential to-the-pointness of musical gurus like Charlie Mingus and Sonny Rollins helps Tales of Tala get the music off the ground, thanks to a single-minded and adventurous drive that helps cut all excess luggage.
Strong meaningful musical combinations are not always that easy to spot, hiding in a sea of possibilities and chaos of style, genre and interpretation. Anchoring the band on five shores might not be such a bad idea after all: Hungary-born Zoltan Lantos studied Indian tradition, as did Niti Ranjan Biswas, Nizar Rohana was weaned on Arab classical music. Minds and fingers of the versatile five intend not to support egos but to carry and drive the music. And cook together on a recipe: main ingredients of these Tales Untold are eastern scales and rhythms, colouring and impro approaches combined with a jazz view on soloing and interplay in the context of subtle compositions and arrangements.
Untold is a disc aptly titled: rarely the story of world music is spun with so muchsophistication.
Peter van Amstel
(translated by loplop)
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Studio Le Roy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Recorded by Mikel Le Roy, April 10, 2011
Mixed by Mikel Le Roy, Paul Weiling, Tjitze Vogel, December 1 & 10, 2011
Mastered by Mikel Le Roy, Paul Weiling, Tjitze Vogel, May 12, 2012
Lay-out by Frauke Erichsen
Painting by Coby Vogel
Produced for LopLop Records, Utrecht, The Netherlands by Tjitze Vogel and Paul Weiling
Distributed by Xango Music Distribution, Utrecht, The Netherlands