It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in June in the year 2010, when Moussa Traoré (Mali, 1986) came to visit Philip Kroonenberg (Holland, 1952) at his house in Scheveningen for a first encounter of their musical worlds. Philip had always loved African music, never realizing how much of it came from Mali.
Moussa – known as Musbaba in the Malian music scene – had heard Philip’s music after meeting Yvonne Gerner, who lives in Mali and happened to be in possession of Philip’s cd ‘Natural Causes’.
Moussa was amazed that a Dutch guy played music to his heart and insisted on meeting Philip and so traveled along with Yvonne Gerner as she went to Holland for a vacation and to be with her family and Dutch friends, as she tends to do about twice a year since she started work in Mali. She is developing with and for local people a piece of land she calls Here Bubu. It’s a social, cultural and economic project.
That afternoon, in Philip’s backyard, Moussa and Philip started to play intuitively. Philip’s daughters, his wife Jellie and all the neighbors came to see what was happening. All of a sudden music was simple. Just the connection of hearts and souls. The next day Moussa came again to play and the feeling that something very special was on its way became so strong that Philip called Ankie Keultjes, producer, engineer and singer with Ad van Meurs (the Watchman, No Blues). He told her what he found and asked her if she would record what they had done sofar. Ankie couldn’t make it at the time being in the middle of mixing the new No Blues album. She advised Philip to get in touch with Léon Bartels at Léons Farm, Boekend.
Producer and drummer Sjoerd van Bommel confirmed: ‘Léon’s a friend’. Another typical case of good casting. So off they went, all the way down to the deep south of Holland, to Limburg to be precise, with a gut feeling that something great was going to happen. They only had one and a half day before Moussa had to go back to Mali. In one afternoon 14 songs were recorded with Moussa playing the calabash and Philip picking and singing like he’s always done.
Then Magic Magicians came flying in, as they tend to do whenever Philip is on his way to give birth to a decent groove. First Reyer Zwart came to play his big double bass and sing harmony vocals. Then Sjoerd van Bommel came to add more percussion, Hammond organ and some drums, helping out by listening with the third ear and bringing along the right Magicians, like Stephan Jankowski, who came to play guitar and dobro and Henk Koekkoek who all by him self added a complete horn section, playing tuba, tenor- and alto sax, trombone and trumpet. Léon brought Zoumana Diarra who came to play Kora, Ngoni, Balefon and electric guitar. Erik Rutjes came to play guitar, mandolin, tress and dobro.
The result of all this is what you now hold in your hands. We hope the music will comfort you, bring peace and joy to your heart and that it may accompany you on your way wherever you go, knowing we are all heading the same way, to a place where it must be so good, that no one came back.
Are you ready for take off?
All songs written by Philip Kroonenberg
Reactie op 8Weekly Webmagazine:
Kroonenberg meets Mali
23 augustus 2011
Philip Kroonenberg ontmoet een verre fan en kalebasspeler uit Mali en smeedt samen met hem op “Ready For Take Off” een unieke mix van stijlen tot wereldmuziek. (…) Kroonenberg creëert een unieke, warme sfeer.
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