Nass Marrakech's U.S. debut album, Sabil a Salaam (Alula), was released in 2000. At that time, the group's sound was primarily a Gnawa-fusion groove.

Nass Marrakech's U.S. debut album, Sabil a Salaam (Alula), was released in 2000. At that time, the group's sound was primarily a Gnawa-fusion groove. With the release of Bouderbala, Nass Marrakech has considerably expanded its collective musical boundaries. The Gnawa-fusion vibe is still apparent in much of what the band members do, but they've opened their minds to the greater musical influences of the Maghreb and beyond. Guest artist Omar Sosa—one of the truly magnificent contemporary world-jazz artists—sits in on "Beyna L'Ejwan" and takes Nass on a wondrous jazz excursion; it's one of the highlights of the album. Spanish flutist Jorge Pardo joins Nass for a couple numbers, working a particularly effective soprano sax on "Zid el Maal." Bouderbala is an intriguing project, suggesting on more than one track a fusion of Gnawa trance music and jazz that's positively brilliant. Distributed by Harmonia Mundi.—PVV

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