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Derek Gripper - One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali (LP, Matsuli Music, 2015)

Cape Town guitarist Derek Gripper is a solo performer playing with a 6-string guitar. The album 'One Night On Earth' was recorded in a single all night session, and consists of guitar interpretations of Toumani Diabaté compositions on the Malian kora. Yes you read right. The kora is a 21-strings African harp-lute, while Derek's guitar only has 8! Arranging and playing the complex kora arrangements on guitar is just a monstruous task, something impossible made into reality here. But this album is not just technically astounding, it's also a great, relaxing, joyful, trippy record. Recommended for the lazy and sunshiny sunday mornings… Originally released on CD in 2012, this marvelous recording sees the light on vinyl three years later thanks to Matsuli Music, who keep their standards as high as usual here. Pure, masterful, stunning brilliance: get entranced!

Derek Gripper - One Night on Earth - Music from the Strings of Mali
Derek Gripper - One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali
(CD/LP) 2012, reissue by Matsuli Music, 2015-05-10

Tracklisting :
01. Jarabi (Passion) 06:38
02. Kaira (Peace) 05:27
03. Kaounding Cissoko 04:25
04. Elyne Road 03:18
05. Djourou Kara Nany 04:24
06. Konkoba (Peace) 04:42
07. Tubaka (Love) 05:36

Credits :
Recorded by Howard Butcher at Rivendel Church, Knysna
Mixed and Mastered at Peace of Eden Studios, Knysna, South Africa Produced by Derek Gripper for New Cape Records
Cover photo by Simon Attwell and Kim Winter
Reverse photo by Bernard Descamps / Agence VU
Design by Twoshoes Graphic Designers, Cape Town, South Africa Guitar arrangements by Derek Gripper
All compositions by Toumani Diabate. Track A2 Copyright Control. All other tracks published by BMG Rights Management UK.
2015 vinyl edition produced by Matt Temple and Chris Albertyn at Matsuli Music Limited.

Links :
Buy on bandcamp or on juno
Free digital download on
Matsuli Music : bandcamp | discogs | facebook | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter | youtube

Press Release :
Matsuli Music presents an album of kora interpretations that astonished John Williams into saying he thought it was "absolutely impossible until I heard Derek Gripper do it". When Kora maestro Toumani Diabate heard these recordings he disbelievingly asked his host and producer Lucy Duran to confirm that she had actually seen one guitarist play this music on just one guitar. Recorded at an all-night session Gripper's guitar magically counjures anew a centuries-old ancient African musical heritage.

One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali, captures Gripper's extraordinary six-string interpretation of Toumani Diabate's 21-string Kora compositions. Gripper's "guitar has found the Kora-playing spirit, he captures the magic bound up in the way it is played", says Williams, who has invited Gripper back a second time to collaborate in "The John Williams Series" at the Globe Theatre, London in June 2015.

For more than ten years Derek Gripper has produced some of South Africa's most extraordinary musical works, fusing the country's disparate creative traditions with styles from around the world. His music draws on European classical traditions, avant-garde Brazilian works, Malian kora works, Cape Town's folk styles such as goema and vastrap, and Indian classical music, all the while synthesising them into a style uniquely his own.

Tim Panting writing in the Classical Guitar Magazine describes this as "…one of the most atmospheric recordings of guitar music, of any kind, that I have heard." And in music journalist Richard Haslop's words "Anybody wondering why one would want to hear a South African guitarist play this music when the incomparable original recordings are available, need only listen to this album."

Originally only available on CD, Matsuli Music is proud to be releasing this breakthrough album on heavyweight vinyl in a deluxe limited edition with accompanying sleeve-notes from Derek Gripper.


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