After years of playing with the Moroccan community of Brussels, music maker and jazz musician Luc Mishalle knows every trick of the cross-fertilization of gnawa music, jazz & brass. Gnawa is the Northern African islamic sufi music with healing vibrations and spiritual lyrics, played by the descendants of African slaves. The album title “Beats & Pieces” refers to the collaborations with Belgian percussionist Roel Poriau (Think of One, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra), Tunisian electronic producer Sofyann Ben Youssef (Ammar808, Kel Assouf) and Moroccan-Belgian gnawa master Maalem Driss Filali.
“The album is significantly less 'jazz' than past collaborations with Byron Wallen and Trevor Watts,” explains Mishalle. “It's based on gnawa songs I transcribed and arranged together. Half of the songs contain vocals, which makes it more radio-friendly.” There are also fragments of Beninese traditionals and which bring us to another thread through the album: trance. You can find it in gnawa music and even more in Benin, the cradle of voodoo. “Trance music aims to create obsession through constant repetition. We kept the essence of that music, adding jazz and brass colours,” Mishalle finds these musicians in Brussels, and together they search for the sound of this city known for its hyper-diversity. “Brussels' context is unique, in Belgium and beyond. Our metropole has quirky vibrations. To catch them, you have to fully submerge.” [info from nw]