Joachim Cooder charts his own path with first solo album

Joachim Cooder

When: July 15, 3 p.m.

Where: Stage 2

Tickets and info: thefestival.bc.ca

Joachim Cooder released his debut album Love on a Real Train in 2012. So why does the Grammy Award-winning drummer and percussionist consider his most recent 2018 EP, Fuchsia Machu Picchu, as his first true solo album?

The album is the kind of genre-jumping, global-embracing mix you would expect from Ry Cooder’s son and part of the rhythm sections on such massive albums as 1997’s Buena Vista Social Club or 2005’s Chavez Ravine.

“Love on a Real Train was a collection of instrumentals that I sent to my brother-in-law (and Ry Cooder band bassist), Robert Francis, my wife Juliette (Commagere), Inara George, Petra Hayden and others and said “do something you want over this,”” said Cooder. “Fuchsia Machu Picchu started very purely with me and my electric mbira and the goal of achieving something that I could go out and do on my own. I’ve never worked like that before, writing my own songs, singing them and so forth.”

Cooder freed his inner composer through this process. He found voice to what becoming a father has meant to him and his deep relationship to his daughter and brought it out in the joyfully quirky tunes. The lullabye-like Elevated Boy takes its inspiration from an adventure his daughter’s doll has.

“My daughter and I come up with stories about anything and everything and it’s one of those,” he said. “That’s what a lot of these songs came out of, really simple thoughts and ideas. And the deep connection her and I have.”

The results aren’t simple. Because the Moonlight may very well literally describe why “this house if filled with blue and white,” but it also drifts into psychedelic realms of philosophy in its layered hypnotic grooves. Chimes, bells, woodblocks and whispering choruses all embellish the soft, understated material on Fuchsia Machu Picchu.

As it turned out, reproducing a track like Gaviota Drive on stage wasn’t going to be as easy as the composer originally planned. Enter saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Sam Gendel. He rounds out the performing duo for Joachim’s music and both players appear in Ry Cooder’s Prodigal Son backing band with Robert Francis.

“Sam is this incredible saxophonist who I met at this party I had been asked to play at,” said Cooder. “He went on before me and I have never been so transfixed by another musician, I was like “Sam, pleasure, now you

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

      

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