Review: Trance’n’Dancin, Jaslyn Hall, Limelight Magazine, 2008

This is an energetic and distinctive blend of virtuoso playing from multi-instrumentalist Kim Sanders, masterfully accompanied by Peter Kennard’s magic trunk of percussion… Trance’nDancin features several different fascinating musical styles – Sufi meditations, Turkish lullabies, trance music, folk tunes – as well as an enigmatic track, “Solitary Circumambulation”, which Sanders claims is the world’s first composition for gaida (Balkan bagpipes) and Hammond organ. Sanders is a relentless champion of world music and this CD celebrates the freshness and sheer excitement of the Balkan and Turkish traditions with added new twists and a funky rhythm section to create a joyful session of music for listening or dancing.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

– Jaslyn  Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine

Review: Bent Grooves, Bradfield Dumpleton, Indie Cds, 2008

Australian multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of contemporary world music Kim Sanders has once again gathered together some of his equally gifted musical friends for this exquisitely rendered collaboration.  This collection draws on traditions of Turkish Sufi and folk music, Balkan Gypsy, West African grooves, Indian Classical music and world jazz-fusion, and weaves these flavours together seamlessly.  The textures are smooth and often sultry, the rhythms are hypnotic, the melodies rich and the moods mostly mellow.

Sanders plays his usual array of Turkish & Bulgarian bagpipes & flutes, and is joined on this excursion by Bobby Singh (tabla), Sandy Evans (saxes), Carlos Vilanueva (charango), Steve Elphick (double bass), George Doukas (bouzouki, baglama), Llew Kiek (baglama) and Bobby Dimitrievski (clarinet).

Those familiar with Kim Sanders know that he has immersed himself first-hand in the cultures he draws from, living, travelling and making music in all these places, and his cohorts are similarly world class representatives of world music and jazz in Australia and overseas.  As a result this album offers the kind of relaxed yet intricate musical dialogues that can only flow with such seasoned players.

The bagpipes and saxophones figure prominently over the whole album, setting a certain consistent texture overall, but there are also some wonderful moments when the other instruments step forward and shine.   There is a fiery bouzouki (or is it baglama?) solo in Only A Surfer Knows The Feeling, and for the languid flamenco jazz of Bad Bodgie Bulerias the charango is invited to take the floor.  In the four-part Journey In Saba Makam the double bass and tabla are given some elbowroom.  In fact the rhythm section of Steve Elphick and Bobby Singh are consistently brilliant throughout the recording, anchoring complex beats and elaborate timings without it ever becoming too angular or agitated – the acoustic warmth of their respective instruments creates more of a velvet ripple, penetrating and persistent.

About a third of the tracks here are traditional tunes, mostly from Turkey, but the originals are largely inspired by the same traditions and you would probably only pick their western origin by their names – in fact it’s refreshing to see Kim’s tongue well in cheek with titles such as Speedbump (what surfers call bodyboarders) and Waste Of Time Busking.

Basically this is a very listenable album (if bagpipes don’t bother you that is), the musicianship is excellent, the production quality is crystalline and the sounds are exotic and entrancing.  A sumptuous addition to any world music collection.

– Bradfield Dumpleton 2008 for indie-cds.com website (www.indie-cds.com)

Review: Bent Grooves, Eelco Schilder, FolkWorld Germany

The Australian multi instrumentalist Kim Sanders is obsessed with wind instruments and already for many years he shares his obsession with the rest of the world by recording great CD’s. Bent Grooves is his latest work and on this album he plays seven wind instruments varying from Turkish Gaita, Kaval, Saluang to tenor sax. What I like is that his instruments have their origin from all over the world and in his work Sanders shows their similarities and their differences. On this CD he is backed by seven ‘friends’ who have different backgrounds from Indian tabla, Balkan Clarinet, Greek bouzouki until Turkish lute. Sanders recorded thirteen tracks, many based on traditionals but also own compositions. I think this Bent grooves is his best album. The music is exciting, a good variation between styles and very well played. I love the Turkish song Heyamoli in which he mixes the Gaita with the sax and especially the bass makes it a Oriental jazzy piece of music. In Kong’s dream one of his own compositions, he and his friends take me into a dreamy world and for more than six minutes long I’m sailing away on the beautiful harmonies between the two saxophones, tabla and bass. Definitely one of my favourites on this album. Only a surfer knows this feeling is inspired by the music from the Black sea. An intense piece of music with the fresh sounding Turkish lute. What follows is A journey in Sabâ Makam. A piece in four parts that takes about fifteen minutes. Highly inspired by the Dervish music, this is a hypnotising fifteen minutes and maybe even the strongest composition on this album. With Bent grooves Kim Sanders and his friends show to be masters in Roots-jazz-fusion music.

–  Eelco Schilder, FolkWorld (Germany) ( www.folkworld.eu )

East West 101

Kim has just done a session for the sound-track of the next series “East West 101”. Davood Tabrizi (kemenche) also took part in the sessions. Composer is Guy Gross.