The Magic Box

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
John Williams, the world's most renowned classical guitarist, has never been content to work within the bounds of Western classical music. Witness his pathbreaking jazz-fusion albums from the '70s or his recordings with Sky in the early '80s. In this sense, The Magic Box is classic Williams, but this time around his muse is altogether different: The album is a paean to the music of Africa, a gorgeous collection of pieces by present-day composers -- Williams among them -- that draw on the rhythms and melodies of the continent's diverse musical cultures. There are dance styles from Cameroon and Zimbabwe, folk songs from Mali and Senegal, and rhythms from the Cape Verde ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - EJ Johnson
John Williams, the world's most renowned classical guitarist, has never been content to work within the bounds of Western classical music. Witness his pathbreaking jazz-fusion albums from the '70s or his recordings with Sky in the early '80s. In this sense, The Magic Box is classic Williams, but this time around his muse is altogether different: The album is a paean to the music of Africa, a gorgeous collection of pieces by present-day composers -- Williams among them -- that draw on the rhythms and melodies of the continent's diverse musical cultures. There are dance styles from Cameroon and Zimbabwe, folk songs from Mali and Senegal, and rhythms from the Cape Verde Islands and Madagascar, among other sources. It wouldn't have happened without Francis Bebey, the guitar legend, author, and activist from Cameroon who was a close friend of Williams's. Sadly, he died in 2001, but he wrote 5 of the 15 pieces on the album including the title track, which refers to an old wind-up record player and also plays the sanza a thumb piano and sings. Other collaborators include Paul Clarvis on assorted percussion including a fork and beer bottle!, John Etheridge on steel-string acoustic guitar providing a nice complement to Williams's nylon-stringed instrument, Richard Harvey on various types of woodwinds, and Chris Lawrence on double bass. The African Children's Choir gets in on the act, too, in an arrangement of the African National Congress anthem. The music is nearly always cheerfully melodious, with pleasingly varied instrumentation -- ranging in size from solo to sextet -- and nimble, clean performances. It's a lovely and likable disc that's designed to relax, not raise the roof, and to open a window onto a world that classical musicians rarely behold.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/16/2002
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998948327
  • Catalog Number: 89483
  • Sales rank: 86,591

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 O Bia
  2. 2 Township Kwela
  3. 3 Maki
  4. 4 Engome
  5. 5 Malinke Guitars
  6. 6 Masanga
  7. 7 Musha Musiki
  8. 8 Mitopa
  9. 9 Triangular Situations
  10. 10 Guitar Makossa
  11. 11 The Magic Box
  12. 12 Omby
  13. 13 Nikosi Sikelel'i Afrika
  14. 14 Djandjon
  15. 15 Sangara
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Williams [guitar] Primary Artist, Guitar
Francis Bebey Vocals, Sanza, Guest Appearance, Group Member
Richard Harvey Dulcimer, Bass, Clarinet, Flute, Accordion, Bass Clarinet, Bass Flute, Human Whistle, Whistle (Instrument), Zamponas, tiple, Indian Flute, Zampona, Indian Harmonium
African Children's Choir Vocals, Choir, Chorus
John Etheridge Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Paul Kegg Cello
Chris Laurence Double Bass
Martin Loveday Cello
Anthony Pleeth Cello
Pete Whittaker Balafon
John Williams Guitar, Electric Guitar, Requinto
Paul Clarvis Percussion, Bongos, Drums, Bottle, Tumba, Spoons, Zarb, Djembe, Finger Snapping, Hand Drums, Modular Moog
Paul Clarvia Bottle
John Williams & the Tick Tocks Guitar, Soloist, Requinto
Christopher Laurence Double Bass
Technical Credits
John Williams [composer] Producer
John Williams [guitar] Producer
Jeff Foster Engineering
John Williams Arranger, Producer
Geoff Foster Engineer
Bob Whitney Mastering
Roxanne Slimak Art Direction
Jen Wyler Engineer
Stéphane Briand Engineer
Traditional Composer
Osi Audu Cover Painting
John Williams & the Tick Tocks Arranger, Producer
Jennifer Wyler Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    John Williams is The Professional

    If you enjoy guitar, then I recommend purchasing this album. My personal favorite is Township Kwela and O Bia.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I heard the concert, buy the cd!

    I had the good fortune to see Williams in concert, playing this program. There is nothing better than watching someone who loves what they do. This joy is reflected in the recording.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews