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Hassan Hakmoun

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Shizzle Gits, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    This weekend I attended the Clearwater Festival in Croton-On-Hudson, NY. There was lots of great music and musicianship. The one that stood out the most for me was Hassan Hakmoun. He is originally from Marrakesh, Morocco. He was raised in the tradition of Gnawa music. He mother was a mystic healer who would dance and chant all night in ceremonies. That is where he learned to play the sintir, a three string fretless bass guitar like instrument made of wood, hide and gut strings. The tone of the instrument is truly unique. It has a haunting, hollow tone. His playing style often incorporates slides and slurs that really accentuate this quality. I like listening to instruments that fulfill a similar role in music as our western bass guitars. It makes me think a little differently about my instrument. I bought this album. I think it is well worth checking out.


  2. I just looked him up. Very cool stuff. He seems to be one of the few that uses a sort of slapping technique on this instrument. Very innovative and cool:

  3. And while we're at it: Check this out! :oops:

  4. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am listening to Baniyi on the album Unity. Great western fusion stuff.
  5. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I caught Donkilo this weekend at the Granite State Music Fest.
    Afro,Jazz , Funk band. Awesome band and the bass player was playing some really
    cool lines. Love that Afro influence.
    Saturday I caught Mike Manring at a clinic. Always a treat.
  6. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I looked up that name at Amazon, but nothing came up. If you have a link, please post it.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I remember first discovering Hassan Hakmoun on that old NBC Night Music TV show in the late 1980s. He played in a trio with guitar & drums. Very cool music, kinda fusion-esque.
  8. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Hassan is a groove monster. I had the pleasure of playing in his band when he lived here on the west coast.
    It was a fun and challenging gig for many reasons, such as trying to land big important beats and yet stay out of the way.
    Some of the song forms are unusual for us westerners as well. It all makes sense after enough consumption.
    I've done a fair amount of sifting through ethnic musics, and so far I haven't come across another style that has the essence of funk as much as gnawa music. The fact the sintir , aka guimbri or bass lute, is the leading instrument, has a lot to do with that. For a while I was grabbing as much gnawa as I could find and digging in to it. The qarkabeb groove is a big part of why I dig it as well, not 16's or trip's, very rubbery. A few I like who fused with western instruments are Hamid el Gnawi, Tyour Gnaoua with Ray Lema, and a bit more fusion would be the great drummer Karim Ziad (from Zawinuls band) , who also plays sintir. There's also a great disc that features several legends young and old, who were brought together, some for the first and only time, to record. IIRC it's "Night masters, gnawa music of Marrakesh".
    It's very cool to hear one master Gnawi groove for a while and hand it over to a different master etc.
    It's a spiritual and ceremonial music and often will trance out for some time, very zen to me. If you can hang in there, often the master will start to change up the groove and that's when the sparks really fly. They will start to improvise more and the syncopations are incredible. It's my feeling songs like "Driven to tears" by the Police were inspired by Gnawa.
    Have fun digging into it!
  9. Shizzle Gits

    Shizzle Gits Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Thanks for the heads up. I am excited to dive into this more.

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