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Tagnawwit: Holy Black Gnawa Trance

by Maalem Mokhtar Gania & Bill Laswell

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Zaini 10:14
Toumarmania 09:09


GNAWA (or Gnaoua) MUSIC is a rich North African repertoire of ancient African Islamic spiritual religious songs and rhythms. Its well preserved heritage combines ritual poetry with traditional music and dancing. The music is performed at ”Lila”’s (pronounced Leela), entire communal nights of celebration, dedicated to prayer, evocation of spirits and healing, guided by the Gnawa Maâlem, with the female Moqadema and his group of musicians, who are also dancers. Though many of the influences that formed this music and it’s special language can be traced to sub-Saharan West Africa, its traditional practice is concentrated in Morocco and parts of Algeria and Tunesia (where it is known as Stambouli). TAGNAWWIT offers a rich mix of musical and cultural backgrounds, fusing many individual influences into one collective sound.

GNAWA FUSION at the highest level. Maâlem Mokhtar Gania - son of the great Maâlem Boubker Gania, is the fourth and surviving brother of a.m.o. the legendary Maâlem Mahmoud Gania (or Guinia) - a gnawa superstar in gnawa simply known as El Maâlem - and Maâlem Abdellah Gania - by many called The Marley or The Rasta for his dreadlocks and fondness for reggae. This collaboration with bassist/producer Bill Laswell features musicians from extremely diverse backgrounds. Dominic James and Aiyb Dieng from West Africa, Chad Smith - drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Graham Haynes, Peter Apfelbaum, Adam Rudolph and many others. A CLASSIC AFRICAN FUSION.

Special thanks: Moqadeema Zaida Gania, Mokhtar’s wife Khadija Gania and his daughters Sana, Hasna, Meryem and Cherifa, the entire Gania family, Peter Chilton, André Azoulay, DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) for loan of microphones, Zawiya Sidna Bilal, Festival d’Essaouira & Laura Glass

The record pays homage to the memory of Mokhtar’s late parents Maâlem Boubker Gania & Moqadeema Aicha Qabrane, his late brothers Maâlem Mahmoud Gania, Maâlem Abdelah Gania and Maâlem Bilal ”Lahzen Zitoune” Gania, as well as his sister J’meia Gania. May their Souls rest in Peace.

Chad Smith appears courtesy of Warner Bros.
Chad Smith plays Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vater Sticks & Remo Heads


released December 9, 2016

Maâlem Mokhtar Gania: lead vocals, guinbri (hajjuj), backing vocals, qaraqab, handclaps
Si Mohamed Outanine: backing vocals, qaraqab, handclaps
Hicham Ait Salah: backing vocals, qaraqab
Youssouf Outanine: backing vocals
Khairdi Qaidi: backing vocals

Graham Haynes: cornet
Peter Apfelbaum: tenor saxophone & flute
Jill Ryan: alto saxophone
Dominic James: guitar
Robert Burger: keyboards
Bill Laswell: bass
Chad Smith: drums
Guy Licata: drums
Adam Rudolph: percussion
Aiyb Dieng: percussion


produced by Bill Laswell & Torben Holleufer

co-arrangement on Mabodallah Allah Dayyim by Torben Holleufer

initial Moroccan recording & production by Torben Holleufer
additional recording & production in Orange Music, West Orange, NJ
recorded & mixed by Robert Musso & James Dellatacoma
mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at TurtleTone Studio, NYC

liner notes by Maâlem Mokhtar Gania & Torben Holleufer

original artist photos in Morocco by Torben Holleufer
Bill Laswell photo by Yoko Yamabe

artwork by Yoko Yamabe @ Randesign
M.O.D. Technologies support: Dave Brunelle 
M.O.D. Technologies: Yoko Yamabe



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