Moroccan Music and Euro-American Imagination
The Master Musicians of Jajouka enjoy a large and loyal following in North America. The musicians, who come from a small village in northwestern Morocco, completed two tours of the United States and Canada, in fall 1995 and summer 1996. There are currently eight available CDs of the group in different configurations and under different spellings, and two of these have done very well indeed. One, a reissue of the 1971 LP Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. produced by Philip Glass in 1995, was offered in both the regular “jewel box” and in a deluxe, velvet-bound, goldtooled limited edition (with a bonus CD) for an initial list price of $75. Another, Apocalypse Across the Sky. was listed as one of the ten best records of 1992 by both Jon Pareles, chief popular music critic of the New York Times. and Steve McClure, Tokyo bureau chief of Billboard magazine. Apocalypse ended that year at number 10 on Billboard's chart of best-selling world-music albums, behind Mickey Hart's Planet Drum and ahead of albums by Salif Keita and Bob Marley.
Jajouka CDs are a staple of a number of college and alternative radio stations, where they appear on the playlist along with music by John Cage, Maurice Ravel, Scissor Girls (a Chicago no-wave band), Harry Pussy (“Miami's supreme noise band”), and Meatmen (a Washington, D. C.-based, “old-school punk” band best known for the album Pope on a Rope). Apocalypse was recommended by the Vampire Server on the World Wide Web as a “Notable Gothic Work to provide mood music for MASQUERADE sessions, or even table top sessions. ” “For that international feel, ” the Vampire page advises. “Absolutely primal. You may not get it at first, but you will …”(http://www.vampireweb.com/vampire/moodmusic/index.html). Finally, the Brian Jones album has been a topic of favorable comment in Didjeridu Digest. a Usenet news group dedicated to the Australian