Alpha Yaya Diallo/Concert for Malachi | Bleader

Alpha Yaya Diallo/Concert for Malachi



On Sunday the Guinean musician Alpha Yaya Diallo, who’s lived in Vancouver since 1991, makes one of his infrequent visits to the area, performing at McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn at 7 PM.  His most recent album, Djama (Jericho Beach, 2005), is less slick than some of his earlier efforts, with more of a lovely pan-West African approach. Although the music is rooted in hypnotic Mande grooves, Diallo makes credible excursions into Cape Verde and the western Sahara.The guitar-driven sounds blend various regional styles, but he has enough charisma and presence as a vocalist to pull it off. It’s nothing you haven’t heard before, but it's still beautiful music exceptionally rendered.

One year ago this Sunday local activist and jazz fan Malachi Ritscher fatally set himself in fire, ostensibly to protest the war in Iraq—among other major problems with our troubled nation. A blog post I wrote reporting the tragic news set off a veritable avalanche of comments, some intelligent, some inchoate, but almost all of them passionate in one way or another. His death ignited feverish discussion on the way the media ignored such incidents and acts in the wake of an increasingly unpopular war, which by and large was given a huge pass when it was all getting started five years ago.

On Sunday from 3 to 5 PM, the Hyde Park Art Center hosts an opening reception for a new exhibit called Consuming War, which “addresses the ways the American media and consumer culture have manipulated and influenced our perceptions of war, often turning it into a spectacle for American consumption." If you show up early, at 2 PM, you can catch the “Concert for Malachi,” a musical tribute with percussionist Michael Zerang and pianist Jim Baker.

Today’s playlist:

Peter Brötzmann & Shoji Hano, Funny Rat (Improvised Music From Japan)
Tunng, Good Arrows (Thrill Jockey)
Dave Brubeck Quartet, Brubeck Time (Columbia/Legacy)
Peter Evans Quartet, Peter Evans Quartet (Firehouse 12)