Best of 2019 #20: Maurice Louca – “Elephantine”


Sometimes putting words to things drains them of their magic.  Laboriously describing every detail of a kaleidoscopic display will never impart the beauty of its unfolding and rejoin.  A vivid dream of whole new mythological lands is likely to lose some of its majesty when the dream is scribbled down upon waking.  The dwindling glow of a sunset on gently rippled waves is only useful as a written device if the imagination of the person reading the words amplifies it sufficiently.  Maurice Louca’s 2019 release Elephantine falls into this category.  The guitarist’s heady mix of cosmic jazz, Egyptian, African, and Yemeni musics, modal and psychedelic jazz is magical, dreamlike, majestic, and imaginative, and it sounds like nothing else that came out in 2019.  Words just won’t do it justice, however.  Clarity is gained from within the experience.

Your album personnel:  Maurice Louca (guitar, piano), Tommaso Cappellato (drums, percussions), Ozun Usta (drums, percussions), Elsa Bergman (bass), Pasquale Mirra (vibraphone), Piero Bittolo Bon (baritone & alto saxophones, bass flute), Anna Högberg (alto sax), Rasmus Kjærgård Lund (tuba), Isak Hedtjärn (clarinet, bass clarinet), Nadah El Shazly (vocals), Natik Awayez (oud), and Ayman Asfour (violin).

Released on Northern Spy Records.

Music from Cairo, Egypt.

I wrote about the album for The Bandcamp Daily.

Listen | Read more | Available at:  Bandcamp – Amazon