Here’s some supporting background on the well-known musicians and artists who came to visit the Master Musicians of Joujouka in the Rif mountains of Morocco over the years. Ornette Coleman came in 1973 and stayed for a week, playing and recording with Bachir’s father Hadj Abdesalam Attar, who was the leader of the Master Musicians of Joujouka until his death in 1982. Coleman’s earth-shaking “Dancing in Your Head” was released later, in 1975, featuring the Master Musicians of Joujouka on the track “Midnight Sunrise.” William S. Burroughs was even sitting in at the recording of that song, apparently smoking you know what.
The funk-master electric bassist of jazz and world music groove, Bill Laswell, recorded and produced “Apocalypse Across the Sky” in the village of Joujouka, using mules to carry additional instruments and recording equipment up into the mountains. And this recording, released in 1992, helped to revive interest in the group under the new leadership of Bakir Attar, following his father’s passing away.
And most famously, in 1968, these Jbala Sufi trance musicians had a profound influence on Brian Jones who visited their village with the artist and musician Brion Gysin, a close friend and collaborator of the writer William S. Burroughs. Jones recorded, produced and released (finally in 1971) “Brian Jones presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka.” Brian Jones had already passed away (in 1969) before the recording was released, but the influence of the mystically hypnotic drones of Master Musicians of Joujouka is heard on the Rolling Stones’ last recordings with their founder and ever-seeking original guitarist, “Her Satanic Majesties Request” (1967) and “Let It Bleed,” (1968).
Playing reed and pipe instruments with percussion and occasional wailing women in the background, a music of unrelenting drones, improvisation and complex rhythms, this 4,000 year-old music from Morocco has further influenced free jazz artists since the 60s through current times including Bill Laswell’s group Material and so many psychedelic jazz and rock groups, it is unquestionable.
“People come when they need you and people go when they don’t,” says Bachir Attar, of the Master Musicians of Joujouka, in an interview from 2012 with a Blues fan from Greece, Michalis Limnios.
The heavy Moroccan trance sounds of The Master Musicians of Joujouka led by Bachir Attar will be on tour in Europe in April 2017
April 6, Thursday—Les Ateliers Claus, Brussels, Belgium
April 7, Friday—World Minimal Music Festival 2017, Amsterdam, Holland
April 8, Saturday—Imago Dei, Krems, Austria
April 10, Monday—Palac Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic
April 11, Tuesday—Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
April 12, Wednesday–Inkonst, Malmo, Sweden
April 13, Thursday–Folkteatern Goteborg, Goteborg, Sweden
April 14, Friday–Huset i Hasserisgade, Aalborg, Denmark
April 15, Saturday–Global Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
April 16, Sunday–Fasching, Stockholm, Sweden
April 20, Thursday–Stadgarten, Koln, Germany
April 21, Friday—Kampnagel-Internationales Zentrum fur schonere Kunste, Hamburg, Germany
April 23, Sunday—Brotfabrik Franfurt, Frankfurt, Germany
April 25, Tuesday—Stanser Musiktage, Stans, Switzerland
Images and YT Video: Master Musicians of Joujouka
Text: Tony Ozuna