Speaking of exploring possibilities, Molly Tigre’s debut is one of the more interesting albums I have heard recently. The desert music of Mali and certain parts of Ethiopia has been all the rage lately due to the success of veteran musicians like Ali Farka Touré, more recent bands like Tinariwen, and the cult record series Ethiopiques.
But much of that music is guitar-based. In fact, Touré’s music has been compared to the American blues so much it has become a cliché. So what happens if you play music inspired by those sounds and rhythms without the guitar? The answer is the horn-driven music of Molly Tigre.
“I wanted to bring together some of the music and styles from Northern Mali and certain regions in Ethiopia, like Tigray,” the genesis of the band’s name, notes bassist and co-founder Ezra Gale.
“I hear a lot of commonalities between them, like the pentatonic scales that are similar sounding. The fact that the rhythms they are using are based around groups of six. When I started playing the music side by side, I thought it was fascinating and I wanted to mash them together.”
Sounds rather academic and music school geek, right? But give the album a listen and the funky, soulful groove is what you’ll actually hear.