An old LP cover dug out from the Concertzender archives. Moshi Barney Willen.
Barney Willen is a French jazz-saxophone player who, as a jammer, played along well-known records like ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ by Art Blakey and ‘Ascenseur Pour L’echafaud’ by Miles Davis. In 1970 Barney heard recordings of Pygmy music and decided to go on a journey through Africa. The expedition was organized with the financial support of a production company. With three Landrovers covered in hippie paintings and filled with instruments, medicines and two mongooses for protection against snakes, they were ready for a journey from Tangier to Zanzibar. What was supposed to be a journey of three months turned out to be an adventure of more than two years and Zanzibar was never reached. Barney Willen eventually returned with enough campfire stories for his grandchildren and a enormous amount of recordings from Morocco, Algeria, Congo, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso (then still Upper Volta) and Senegal. He drummed up a group of jammers who, caught by the African rhythms, played along these recordings to achieve a musical synthesis, long before the term world music existed.The results can be heard on a special double LP from 1973. This LP is available on the internet for high prices but we wouldn’t be the Concertzender if we didn’t let you hear it. Because the length of the record is longer than an hour there won’t be a CD on the end.