Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World

Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World

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This album of protest music, very little of it in English, seems like an odd way to tap into the restive mood of American politics in 2004. But a little patience rewards -- this international selection eloquently thumbs its nose at the unilateralists in charge. While the artists included are likely to meet with headscratching by even the most committed world music

Overview

This album of protest music, very little of it in English, seems like an odd way to tap into the restive mood of American politics in 2004. But a little patience rewards -- this international selection eloquently thumbs its nose at the unilateralists in charge. While the artists included are likely to meet with headscratching by even the most committed world music fans, the presence of Pete Seeger mitigates the obscurities, and the performances are first rate. Seeger donates a Viet Nam-era plaint, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," that makes eerie sense almost a half-century later. It's easy to see the album as a Bush-bashing conference, but in fact the protests lodged here take on a cast of bullies and scoundrels, from Augusto Pinochet, whose misdeeds and "disappearances" are recalled in "Te Recuerdo, Amanda"; to the apartheid regime of South Africa, liltingly assailed in "Ndimbeleni"; and Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, mournfully rendered in "La Geste de Sarajevo." More general violence is vilified in Papa Wemba's denunciation of African slavery, a rememberance of the Kent State Massacre in Ohio, and the struggles in Northern Ireland. All in all, this thoughtful and timely compilation reminds that if indeed all nations are united in war and suffering, they're also united in outrage and protest.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Marisa Brown
As a way to remind people that music has always been a global form of social resistance, Ellipsis Arts released Protest: Songs of Struggle and Resistance from Around the World, a collection spanning 40 years of the genre's history, from the 1960s all the way to the time the album was released in 2004. It would be difficult to compile a record of reasonable length that truly encompassed the world's musician/activists, but this release is a decent attempt to include as geographically diverse of a selection as possible in 15 songs, and the album contains a lot of artists from Africa, a handful each from the U.S. and Europe and the Middle East, an Argentinean guitarist, and a Jamaican singer. The songs mainly speak about problems specific to the countries of origin, although most also have lyrics that are open to interpretation, so that they could be applied to any situation of genocide, war, oppression, or the desire for freedom. Due to the diversity in artistic nationality, there is also a nice diversity in the music, from the upbeat African rhythms (Mzwakhe Mbuli's "Ndimbeleni," Papa Wemba's "Esclave") to the acoustic guitar-driven American and Irish folk ballads (Pete Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," Barbara Dane's "The Kent State Massacre," Larry Kirwan's "Bobby Sands, MP") to the achingly beautiful voice and guitar combo from both Angola (Kafala Brothers' "Renuncia Impossivel") and Latin America (Christine Brebes/Diego Rolon's "Te Recuerdo Amanda"). The artists included on the album tend to stick to their respective countries' folk music traditions, so there aren't really any ventures into hip-hop or modern rock (the closest would have to be the Breton group Tri Yann's "La Geste de Sarajevo"), but the record is a nice collection of poignant and sometimes provocative protest songs from a worldwide group of musicians who were all unafraid to speak up against authority and profess their ideas on peace and war.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/31/2004
Label:
Ellipsis Arts
UPC:
0052296100025

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pete Seeger   Guitar,Vocals
Robin Williamson   Vocals
Stella Chiweshe   Vocals
Barbara Dane   Guitar,Vocals
Mzwakhe Mbuli   Conga,Vocals,Penny Whistle
Marcel Khalife   Vocals,Oud
Jean Luc Chavalier   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar
Jenny Hill   Saxophone,Group Member
Larry Kirwan   Guitar,Hammond Organ,Vocals,Bandleader
Nilda Richards   Trombone,Group Member
Pierre Akendengué   Guitar,Vocals
Gilson Mangoma   Choir, Chorus
Ephraim Saturday   Choir, Chorus
Baaziz   Vocals
François Verly   Percussion
Constantin Ambassa   Guitar
Pascal Danaé   Guitar
Jacob "Bigboy" Ditle   Drums
Marcel Djabioh   Percussion,Vocals
Benedicta Kwouait   Vocals
Floyd Manana   Guitar
Sophie Mbourou   Vocals
Celestine Tsobou Moubickou   Vocals
Théophile Rengouwa Onanga   Ngoma,Obaka
Vincent Segal   Cello
Gerard Tcheboua   Percussion
Stephane Trouiller   Vocals
Steven Zulu   Keyboards,Vocals
Jemaima Zwane   Vocals
Chava Alberstein   Guitar,Vocals
Chinembiri Chidodo   Choir, Chorus
Leonard Ngwenya   Choir, Chorus
Lucien Zerrad   Acoustic Guitar,Soloist
Michael G.   Guitar
Moises Kafala   Flute,Guitar,Vocals
Dider Marty   Flute
Jean Louis Jossic   Vocals,Psaltery,Chalemie,Crumhorn,Bombard
Christophe Dutray   Bugle
Jean Chocun   Banjo,Mandolin,Choir, Chorus
Jean-Paul Corbineau   Vocals
Jose Kafala   Guitar,Vocals
Christine Brebes   Violin
Oumayma Al Khalil   Vocals
Mayadine   Choir, Chorus
Burning Brass   Brass
Julien Tekeyan   Percussion
Tricia Angus   Background Vocals
Vere Isaac   Bass
Hughes de Courson   Percussion

Technical Credits

Victor Jara   Composer
Pete Seeger   Composer
Robin Williamson   Composer
Stella Chiweshe   Composer
Papa Wemba   Composer
Mzwakhe Mbuli   Composer
Jack Warshaw   Composer
Pierre Akendengué   Composer
Georgeanna Marie Tillman Gordon   Contributor
Chava Alberstein   Arranger,Composer
Traditional   Composer
Christina Roden   Producer,Liner Notes
Hughes de Courson   Producer

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