Songlines gives Kane Mathis a stirring review with “Geminus”

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Rating: ★★★

Author: Nigel Williamson

 View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band: Kane Mathis
Label: Kane Mathis
Magazine Review Date: June/2021

In a way you could say Mathis spent more than 20 years making this album – even though he eventually recorded it in just three days. The American instrumentalist began taking kora lessons from members of the Jobarteh griot clan in the Gambia in 1997 and has been making regular trips for further instruction ever since. His studies on the oud began a little later in Istanbul and continued until he became a sought-after soloist and accompanist on both instruments, particularly in demand for film and dance projects.

His solo debut features his own instrumental compositions alternating between kora and oud and backed by the world jazz grooves of fellow New York-based musicians John Hadfield on drums and Sam Minaie on bass. It’s beautifully recorded and Mathis’ virtuosity is beyond question, as is his ability to absorb the deepest traditions of Malian and Arabic music and augment them with his own harmonic pyrotechnics and rhythmic flair. The ten tracks value energy and dynamism above the classical and more meditative qualities of both instruments – but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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