Review of Bent Grooves CD Launch, Sound Lounge, Sydney, 9th May 2008

Such was a celebration of various cultures through regional music, a reflection of the endless pursuit of diversity for Kim Sanders. Whilst performances sharing the theme of diversity have not gone un-acknowledged over the past decade, it felt to me like the shackles of the Howard monoculture had finally been broken during this performance which represented more than just creative music but friendship, inclusiveness, respect and genuine inter-cultural collaboration. Sanders might look like a gypsy with his long greying locks, his Bohemian garb and his goat skin bags but his manner and his dialogue is as Aussie as the next bloke and this fact almost defies the reality of his ability to converse in several languages across the Asian, European and African continents, let alone his ability to foster musical conversations in as many languages using over 14 wind instruments.
Along with Kim Sanders, the core quartet of the ‘Friends’ include Sandy Evans tenor and soprano saxophones, Bobby Singh tabla and Steve Elphick double bass. They opened with Heyamoli a Northern Turkish lament which saw Kim playing Turkish gaida (bagpipe) and Sandy in unison on tenor.
Next they performed the suite A Journey in Saba Makam. The ney is a sufi flute made of bamboo which Sanders freely improvised the first movement Bas Taksim over a singular Elphick drone followed by the additive of Evans and Singh. Such was Evans sensitivity on tenor during the second movement Saba Nefes I that her shadowing was simply an additional tonal flavour of the smokey fluted melody. The final movement showcased the awe-inspiring talent of Singh on tabla.
Sanders who is also a keen surfer, at one time took up the boogie board instead and soon found that serious surfers refer to them as a Speedbump but what commenced as a gypsy jam ended up a Congolese groove thanks mainly to the synchronicity of both Singh and Elphick.
Yet another continent was thrown into the mix with the addition of Chilean Carlos Villanueva and his Andean charango playing the flamenco tinged The Bad Bodgie Bulerias. With an almost clenched fist, Villanueva’s finger nails rapidly raked the repeated four chords of this piece on this instrument of only ukelele dimensions. By now parts of the capacity crowd were shrieking.
Kay Yagar which is interpreted as ‘snow is falling’ was a further showcase of Sanders skills; this time on the double reeded flute, the mey. His circular breathing and tonguing of this instrument created a spellbinding vibrato which preceded his swap to the bagpipes. Another dimension of this piece was the addition of Llew Kiek from the renowned band Mara! on the baglama or Turkish lute.
Istanbul Blues allowed Sandy Evans on tenor a precursor of what was to come on Oi Havar where she simply soared, taking the audience with her on a carpet ride of freedom and joyous expression.
When George Doukas arrived on stage the battle of the bouzouki’s began with Kiek choosing his own richly decorated axe. While Doukas proved a virtuoso, nothing was going to prepare us for the arrival of the final friend Bobby Dimitrievski on clarinet who displayed an agility on the instrument which is rarely witnessed. Following a standing ovation the group finally returned to the stage for a fitting finale. But what was probably the most musically intuitive passage of the performance came after Evans (during her solo) cried to Dimitrievski to ‘join in Bobby’. The result was a lesson to us all in genuine conversation where listening is just as important as speech when the magic of their respective instruments interwove a singular dialect of perfect harmony.
This was nothing less than a triumphant performance by Kim Sanders and Friends

– Peter Wockner, Jazz and Beyond, May 08 (www.jazzandbeyond.com.au)

Kim’s CDs

Bent Grooves

frontcover-low-res

Magical collective improvisation framed by lush melodies and anchored by hypnotic rhythms, drawing from the traditions of Turkish Sufi and folk music, Balkan Gypsy brass bands, West African grooves, Indian Classical music, flamenco, blues and jazz.

Magical collective improvisation framed by lush melodies and anchored by hypnotic rhythms, drawing from the traditions of Turkish Sufi and folk music, Balkan Gypsy brass bands, West African grooves, Indian Classical music, flamenco, blues and jazz.

Featuring (in order of height): Sandy Evans: soprano and tenor saxes; Carlos Villanueva: charango; Bobby Singh: tabla; Kim Sanders: ney, Turkish gaida, aardvark, kaval, mey, tenor sax, saluang; George Doukas: bouzouki, Greek baglama; Llew Kiek: Turkish baglama; Steve Elphick: double bass.

The CD was produced by Tony Gorman, engineered by Ross A’Hern and mastered by Paul Bryant. The project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

What the critics say about Bent Grooves

“That asinine term ‘world music’ actually acquires some meaning when applied to the art of Kim Sanders. The Sydney multi-instrumentalist has stewed in musical melting pots from Indonesia to Gambia and is especially steeped in the sounds of Turkey and Eastern Europe. Having absorbed these traditions, he plays within or without them as suits his creative impulses.Sanders’s long-term collaboration with tabla player Bobby Singh stretches the sonic world of Asia Minor eastward, towards the subcontinent, just as Steve Elphick’s bass and Sandy Evans’s saxophone bring jazzier sensibilities to bear. But Sanders never forces square pegs into round holes and his musical imagination unfolds with a marvellous fluidity, like a river being fed by many tributaries, with the main flow mingling beautiful, often melancholy melodies with evocative rhythms and exotic textures.His own braying tenor saxophone, assorted wistful flutes and sometimes imperious bagpipes radiate a joy in having such open dialogues with his gifted collaborators; dialogues that have been superbly recorded.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“What I wouldn’t give to have friends like these!…Bent Grooves is an instrumental CD, beautifully measured and layered” – Jaslyn Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine“No ‘world fuzak’ here!” – Doug Spencer, Producer, The Weekend Planet, ABC Radio National

 

Trance’n’Dancin  

Kim Sanders’  CD Trance’n’Dancin is an exploration of trance music, from the etherial flights of the ney flute used in the rituals of Turkey’s Mevlevi Dervishes to the hypnotic dance-rhythms of the Balkans. It also features the world’s first composition for Bulgarian bagpipe and Hammond organ.

Featuring Kim Sanders: Turkish ney (Sufi flute), kaval (Bulgarian wooden flute), Bulgarian and Turkish gaidas (bagpipes), aardvark (Turkish/Bulgarian/Australian hybrid bass bagpipe), mey (Turkish double reed), saluang (Sumatran flute) & Peter Kennard: dhaf, bendir, darabukka, megabukka, riq, zills, gong-on-a-mattress, wood-blocks, dried budgies, surdo, ride cymbal, harmonium, keyboards, chan, another cymbal

 

What the critics say about Trance’n’Dancin

“Sublime, haunting…The album is a beautifully shaped journey from the spacious taksims to fast and upbeat dance tunes… Sanders has spent years studying the music of Turkey and the Balkans and his passion and skill for this music are clearly evident in this superb album.” – Oonagh Sherrard for www.indie-cds.com

“There is a profound dignity about the expression of sadness in Turkish music. With neither histrionics nor sentimentality, the sadness is distilled into beauty. Kim Sanders has immersed himself in this culture for years and achieves an extraordinarily haunting sound on ney (Dervish flute) for the rubato improvisations on this haunting album. He is accompanied by Peter Kennard, whose realisatons of the slowest tempos in tricky time signatures is a marvel of meditative concentration and execution.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“What stirs you throughout this album is the realisation that the breath is what brings you closer to God, that is the ‘ruh’ or the soul. Kim’s brand of music is based on the movement of breath and an inner connection to the mind and spirit. The album is a must for world music conoisseurs and anyone who enjoys the world of Islam.” – Kuranda Seyit, Australia Fair, Dec 05

“A major part of this album is a modern interpretation of Traditional Mevlevi (Whirling Dervish) and Balkan dance music. Yet it loses none of the meditative and languid qualities of the original trance music…The real beauty of the album is the way that the bulk of the tracks achieve the near impossible feat of exuding a sound that is elegiac but at the same time spirited. The hauntingly beautiful “Gidemem Siraza Ben” is almost heartrending in this technically masterful and emotionally uplifting intertwining of the plaintive with the exuberant… Multi- instrumentalist Kim Sanders achieves total command over all his instruments and together with Peter Kennard has produced a masterful album which is an ideal vehicle for a breakthrough to a wider audience.” – Dush Perera, Jazz’n’Blues www.corporatenews.com.au

“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” – Jas Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine

 

You Can’t Get There From Here

Kim Sanders and Friends’ ARIA-nominated CD You Can’t Get There From Here showcases traditional pieces from the Balkans and Middle-East and original pieces including “Hepimiz Deliyiz” (“We’re All Crazy”), first performed at the Ataturk Cultural Centre with the Istanbul State Modern Folk Music Ensemble, 2001. Demented Gypsy-style collective improvisation, Indo-Turkish grooves and more…

Kim Sanders: ney, kaval, mey, duduk, saluang, Bulgarian and Turkish gaidas, aardvark, tenor sax, gong;  Bobby Singh: tablas;  Sabahattin Akdagcik: baglama, oud, yayli tambur;  Steve Elphick: double bass; Peter Kennard: percussion and Epizo Bangoura: djembe, balafon.

What the critics say about You Can’t Get There From Here

This is a dream of an album, full of emotion and skill – Carina Prange, Jazz Dimensions (Germany)

I was immediately conquered by the beauty of the arrangements, the high degree of musicianship and the perfect selection of the tunes featured there – Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio (Italy)

A gem …Great sounds, textures, clever improvisation over tricky rhythms, an album for conoisseurs – Dieter Bajzek, Folk Alliance Australia

A beautifully-balanced mixture of traditional and contemporary sounds from Turkey, West Africa, India and the Balkans …A fantastic array of moods and charms – K S Seyit, Australian Muslim News

Plenty of beautiful, breath catching moments – Craig N. Pearce, Drum Media

You are sure to want to linger in this musical mystery land – Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald

Deliciously eclectic! – Doug Spencer, Producer, The Planet, ABC Radio National

Chronic Rhythmosis

Brassov’s World-Gypsy-Jazz CD – re issued 2014       

Brassov are acknowledged as one of Australia’s most original and accomplished contemporary world music – jazz bands.  Their irrestistible rhythms and vibrant melodies have their roots in the music of the Romany (Gypsy) Balkans, West Africa and Latin America.  This is music to listen to, laugh with, and dance to!

The members of Brassov – Robert Guzmani: trumpet; Christine Evans: soprano/alto Sax; Kim Sanders: tenor sax, Balkan & Middle Eastern wind instruments, eastern bagpipes; Boyd: baritone, bass saxes; Peter Kennard: percussion; James Pattugalan: drums.

What the critics say about Chronic Rhythmosis

This is richly-layered brass instrument playing ranging from the fast and furious…to the sublimely lyrical and emotionally sustaining…it’s a brass band that has absorbed its world music, bebop and big band influences and remains true to itself with a rich and distinctive voice.  Chronically good – Realtime, Jan 98

..(with) a gargantuan bass saxophone honking out the bottom end, Brassov take brass band music on a rhythmic bender through Africa and Latin America.  The result is berserk folk-jazz dance music – Richard Guilliatt, Sydney Morning Herald Metro, Jan 97

Marvellously engaging…one of the most original and enthralling of musical ensembles you are likely to encounter – Craig N. Pearce, Drum Media, Oct 97

…an insouciant and vibrant world hybrid, perhaps better thought of as world music jazz.  In it you can hear Balkan, Romany Gypsy, ska, Persian, West African and Latin strains, mixed in a riot of exotic polyrhythms and time signatures – Shane Nichols, Australian Financial Review, Jan 98

Armed with an arsenal of Balkan bagpipes and enough strange instruments to send an ethnomusicologist into paroxysms of delight, Brassov have produced an album of world jazz which is energetic, inventive and fascinating – The Jazz Messenger, Dec 97

People lift up their arms, wiggle their torsos and shout ‘whoopah’…It’s not often that you get to see a gangster, a showgirl, and a Balkan shopkeeper in the one band – not in Sydney anyway.  These guys are like the Macedonian Village People – they can definitely groove, in three, give seven and eleven. – Hugh Worrall, Drum Media, Oct 97

It is obvious that the members of Brassov have a thorough understanding of the sources at the heart of their project and the results were exhilarating: exuberant, raucous playing – Peter Jordan, Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 97

One of the most stimulating and vibrant groups currently operating in the local music scene – Blowing, Drum Media, Nov 97

 

GengGong’s CD – Not Just Music

GengGong uses traditional musics from many cultures (Javanese, Madurese, Bulgarian, Turkish, Arabic, Sumatran) in contemporary arrangements and original compositions.  Indonesion drums, gongs and reeds are combined with guitar, Balkan &Middle Eastern bagpipes, didgeridu, saxophone and wooden flutes to produce a unique and totally compelling performance.

Sawung Jabo: vocals, guitar, bonang and other gongs, dance); Kim Sanders: tenor sax, aardvark, Deravish flute, Bulgarian bagpipe, Middle-Eastern reeds, Sumatran saluang, percussion;  Ron Reeves: Sundanese kendang, Sumatran sarunai, didgeridu, genggong, buzz flute, vocals;  Reza Achman: drum kit, percussion, vocals.

GengGong: "Not Just Music"

 

What the Critics say:

GengGong rock hard – Revolver

The whole blend of traditional music they performed…created a rhythm of harmonic and peaceful sounds, as if we were being drawn into a spiritual experience together with them – Newsmusik

A powerful performing unit – Richard Jasiutowitz, Diaspora

Their commitment to excellence in performance, professional deportment and creative synthesis of traditional and modern elements…[makes] this band…the fore-runner of exciting new developments to come in the fusion of east and west in Australia – Dr David Goldsworthy, Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of New England.

Wow, GengGong really went off!! – Seth Jordan, Director, Bellingen Global Carnival

GengGong have already made a significant contribution to contemporary Australian cross-cultural music, especially by promoting a sense of cultural exchange and understanding between Australia and Asia. – Lex Marinos, (former) Head of Carnivale.

 

 

Buying Kim’s CDs

All CDs are available directly from kimzgaida@hotmail.com.  Bent Grooves, Trance’n’Dancin and You Can’t Get There From Here are available from:Indie-CD’s www.indie-cds.com, Trad & Now www.duckscrossing.org/tradshop, Birdland (Sydney city) www.birdland.com.au, Lamdha Books (Wentworth Falls, NSW) www.lamdhabooks.com.au, Mara! Music www.maramusic.com, “Saba Nefes II” is included in the compilation “Groove Medicine – Groove Music” from Music Mosaic.  Individual tracks or full album downloadable online – http://www.music-mosaic.com/ecom/groove-music-medicine.php

You Can’t Get There From Here , Trance’n’Dancin,  Bent Grooves and Chronic Rhythmosis are now available online from iHear Music. You can download single tracks or whole albums.  iHear Music supports Australian musicians – support them if you can!

From the Archives: 

There are still a few copies available of pioneering Australian World Music group Nakisa’s Camels in the City CD and Nakisa’s first album Insallah (LP/cassette  format only)

Kim has also recorded with:

Phanari tis Anatolis,  Oppie Andaresta, Oguz Yilmaz,  Setiawan Djody, Silvia Entcheva Trio, Flamenco Dreaming, Indiajiva, Tansey’s Fancy, Seaweed and Wire, Chichitote, Caiseal Mor, Rick-e-Dee, Bob Wheatley, Sabahattin Akdagcik’s SASOM, David Hobson, Blair Greenberg, Roger Mason, Rabadaki, Tony Lewis/Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre, Turkish Art Music Ensemble, Global Roots, ABC Childrens’ series “0-9”  and others…

Review: Bent Grooves, Michael Rofe, Weekend Australian, December 2008

Kim Sanders is one of those unsung Australian musical pioneers who is following his own vision to create his sound while acknowledging his Middle eastern influences.  Bent Grooves is a wonderful collaboration, indicative of the remarkable musical talent to be found in Australia, far beyond anything created by the superficial or the idols so prominent in the media.  The master of a variety of reed instruments, including the sublime Sufi reed flute (ney), Sanders creates a sound at once evocative and melodic, with grace and humour.  He is accompanied by Australia’s pre-eminent saxophonist, Sandy Evans, the rhythmically subtle bassist Steve Elphick, Indian tabla master Bobby Singh and fellow explorer Llew Kiek playing baglama (lute) as well as several guests.  With excellent production by Tony Gorman and sound engineering by Ross A’Hern, this is a gem worth investigating.  In a perfect world, these artists would figure among out national treasures.

– Michael Rofe, Weekend Australian, Dec 13-14, 2008.

Rating: 4 ½ stars (out of 5)

Review: Bent Grooves, Kuranda Seyit, Aussie Mossie, September 2008

This album combines some of the old Kim with new Kim, fresh from a stint in Turkey you can hear the experimental combinations of saxophone and traditional Turkish instruments, unlike some of the older stuff this is really pushing the boundaries, so much so that one gets lost in the mix and you don’t know where you are any longer. It’s melifluous and soothing but its real triumph is finding the right balance between West and East.  Kim’s on a roll and we look forward to more of the right stuff.

– Kuranda Seyit, Aussie Mossie, Sept 2008

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 )

Review: Bent Grooves, John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, July 2008

That asinine term “world music” actually acquires some meaning when applied to the art of Kim Sanders. The Sydney multi-instrumentalist has stewed in musical melting pots from Indonesia to Gambia and is especially steeped in the sounds of Turkey and Eastern Europe. Having absorbed these traditions, he plays within or without them as suits his creative impulses.
Sanders’s long-term collaboration with tabla player Bobby Singh stretches the sonic world of Asia Minor eastward, towards the subcontinent, just as Steve Elphick’s bass and Sandy Evans’s saxophone bring jazzier sensibilities to bear. But Sanders never forces square pegs into round holes and his musical imagination unfolds with a marvellous fluidity, like a river being fed by many tributaries, with the main flow mingling beautiful, often melancholy melodies with evocative rhythms and exotic textures.
His own braying tenor saxophone, assorted wistful flutes and sometimes imperious bagpipes radiate a joy in having such open dialogues with his gifted collaborators; dialogues that have been superbly recorded.

– John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, July 11, 2008

Review: Bent Grooves, Jaslyn Hall, Limelight Magazine, July 2008

What wouldn’t I give to have friends like these: Sandy Evans (soprano and tenor sax), Carlos Villanueva  (charango), Tarlochan Singh (tabla), George Doukas (bouzouki), Llew Kiek (baglama), Blagojce Dimitrievski (clarinet) and Steve Elphick (double bass). Kim Sanders describes his life as a speed bump “you start going somewhere and end up going somewhere completely different”.  It’s also the title of the second trac, a beautiful interplay between two saxophones, tabla and bass.Kim, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, plays tenor sax on this tune.Bent Grooves is an instrumental CD, beautifully measured and layered, with music inspired by Kim’s travel and work in Macedonia and Turkey.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

– Jaslyn Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine, June 2008