The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

4/28/2005

Mily Clément - "Zaho tsy hiala"

There's not many places on the continent of Africa that I have a great interest in visiting. Due to politics and/or disease, I'm just not interested. See the wildlife? The San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park in Escondido is only a five-hour drive away. The poverty levels in western and central Africa, especially, seem too high to enjoy mingling with the local population. I'm open to persuasion that I'm wrong, but the African mainland (with the possible exception of Morocco) holds no interest.

However, the islands off the coasts, that's another story. The Cape Verde Islands off the northwest coast have a great musical tradition and, perhaps, my Portuguese language training (too minimal to be deemed "skills" could come into use). However, where I really would like to go is Madasgascar.

Why? The music! Madagascar has a great, rich, musical tradition befitting a cultural crossroads. Madasgascarian musical forms often combine the best of southern and southeastern Asia with the best of Africa. The Afro-Brazilian music (with just a hint of the Caribbean) of Bahia Brasil is an almost identical twin cousin of some of the best Madagascarian.

My favorite Madagascarian CD I own is Madagascar Banja Malalaka by Mily Clément. He is virtuoso of the unique Madagascarian style of guitar. The spare yet effervescent "Zaho tsy hiala" is the best track, getting the CD off to great start that continues through all eight tracks, which clock in at less than 35 minutes total. Quality, not quantity, from the guitar of Ms. Clément. If more of his music were available stateside, I would own it. It isn't, so I don't. Yet. Unless I can get to Madagascar.
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