Exposé Online banner

Baba Jam Band — Kayada
(Acoustic Music BEST.NR.319, 1993, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1999-04-01

Kayada Cover art

This is only roughly new, I suppose, being a CD from five years back. Probably wouldn't have bothered with the review except that this is a remarkably good album, one that should have gotten much more attention in 1993 than it did. Baba Jam Band are a true original, blending styles and sounds from a variety of sources. A German group, it's no surprise that the female vocalist sounds like Renate Knaup nor that their approach to a middle-eastern-influenced music resembles Embryo or Chris Karrer in some ways. Mix in the elements of many an Oriental Wind album, a slight zeuhl influence, jazz, dissonant compositional elements vaguely similar to Univers Zero; give it a glossy contemporary production; and you're really only left with half the picture. The songs are contemporary arrangements of traditionals, although saz, darbuka, and other instruments from the Middle East are prevalent. The first track, the fifteen minute "Colours of Yemen," illustrates this well, having all the elements described above and delivered with a progressive rock edge. The album does not let up in quality through its near-double album length, with solos for violin (check out the long one in "Tamzara" that turns into a Ponty / Grapelli trade-off by the end of the song), sax, guitar, vocals both male and female, and arrangements captivating and energetic. The songs are long too, there are several over nine minutes long, all with a nice stretched-out feel and portraying a variety of moods. The more I listen to this, the more I like it; it amazes me how little fuss was made over such an amazing CD.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1993 releases

Related artist(s): Baba Jam Band

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chas Smith - Nakadai – For lack of a better term, let’s say that when we produce or listen to sounds that an instrument was not principally designed to generate, we are playing or hearing “beyond the instrument.”...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover

Premier of New Echo Us Video

From the press release:

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.

“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)

To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.

“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)

As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.



Print issues