The Headwhiz Consort Moderne Internationale

A truly diverse collection of musicians playing a truly diverse collection of compositions.

Mind Fry Enterprises is proud to announce the latest release Baobob: The Headwhiz Consort Moderne Internationale Plays Cole, Wade and McGrail.

It covers a wide array of mainstream avant garde and progressive music with a tip of the hat to jazz, classical,

A truly diverse collection of musicians playing a truly diverse collection of compositions.

Mind Fry Enterprises is proud to announce the latest release Baobob: The Headwhiz Consort Moderne Internationale Plays Cole, Wade and McGrail.

It covers a wide array of mainstream avant garde and progressive music with a tip of the hat to jazz, classical, folk world music and of course rock.. A truly diverse collection of musicians playing a truly diverse collection of compositions.

Led by the inimitable Babakar Wade of Senegal, it comprises a group hailing from 9 countries while having absorbed the influences of many more than that!

The pieces were composed by Babakar Wade, Consort guitarist Barney Cole and John McGrail. Stylistically it runs the gamut from the orchestral McGrail composition “Burying The Dead” to the heavy jazz of Cole’s “Litterly Hell” to the delicate duet “Tempestuous Tempeh” by the leader Wade. .

The Consort Babakar Wade (Senegal) Rhythm Guitar and Vocals Samba Diop (Senegal) Percussion Barney Cole (USA) Lead Guitar Mairead O’Connor (Ireland) Keyboards Hans Z (Germany) Drums Vladimir Polchinski (Russia) Bass Jean-luc Sartre (France) Winds and Electronic Reeds Robert Kohn (Israel) Programming Lady Bret Fastley (England) Mallets Art Paisley (N. Ireland) Lambeg Drum* and Vocals

*there is no Lambeg Drum on this recording

The following is an excerpt of an interview with Babakar Wade of the Headwhiz Consort Moderne Internationale by Mohamed Jabbar Ali of the West African Music Journal.

MJA: Hello Babakar how are you? BW: Very well thank yourself? MJA: Your debut release was an exquisite adventure back in the mid 90's. It has been almost ten years since. What was the reason?
BW: Well as you know the Consort is not an easy creature to manage with everyone coming from different countries and even continents. After the first album we had toured quite a bit in support of it but then when that was over everyone went their ways and we did occasionally get together for some benefit concerts but we all have other projects. Barney (Cole) in particular was busy with his group “The Swingin’ Shards”. Myself I was actually enjoying the peace and solitude that comes from not being in the spotlight and on the road. I had gone through some difficult periods personally, although not as difficult as so many others on this earth have to deal with, but I lost my horse Lester and was very saddened by that. Mainly though I was out in my village tending to the day to day things that existence requires and being rather content in doing so.
MJA: What got you to gather the Consort for this recording? A marked step up from your original release if I may add. BW: Thank you very much. Well I had received an e-mail from J. Kinslow McGrail (President of Mind Fry Enterprises) and he wanted us to put one out. This is really the genesis of this. Of course I am always playing music, indeed I could not do without it, but I do not always feel I have to go out and do it in the public eye. I can play for people in my village or just for myself or my new horse Amadou and that can be just as satisfying as for an entire concert hall in Paris or Montreux. But I came to America and discussed things with J. Kinslow and I wanted to do another album of John ‘s music but John wanted us to do some original music. It had gotten to the point after they looked at some of my scores and heard some of Barney’s pieces that John thought we should just do our own material. As it turned out we did some of our own compositions and some of John’s pieces. I think it worked out really well. MJA: Indeed. One of my favorite pieces of yours on the album is “Tempestuous Tempeh”. Can you talk about that a little?
BW: Well it is a piece that I had written the guitar part out just by sitting around at home and working on it. As I am not a very good pianist I couldn’t do the same for that instrument but I knew that I wanted just piano as the only other instrument so I sat down and worked out the score for the guitar part and then began to work on the piano portion of the score. I had done this prior to J. Kinslow asking us to do a album so it had just been sitting in a file at home. When we decided to put an album out that was the first piece I thought of. I e-mailed the score to Mairead who at the time was staying in Oughterard in county Galway in a small cottage on Lough Corrib, you see her home is Dublin but she had taken a place in the west to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. She e-mailed me back saying she loved it and was practicing daily to prepare for the sessions. She did a wonderful job on it. I am always amazed by her, really by everyone it he Consort, save myself.
MJA: You’re too modest Babakar. On the liner notes you mention the Cleveland winters in discussing “The Encroaching Cold”. It seems you like them. BW: Well this is true. I mean here in Senegal it is very hot. I enjoy the heat but you go to this cold post-industrial city in the Midwest of America in the winter and there is this mood that hangs over the city. The snow turns everything white all the tree’s are leafless and the temperature is at times 100 degrees colder than here in Senegal. It is so unique to me it almost seems like I am on another planet. The good people of Cleveland of course have a different view of it. They use words that make it sound like the winter is a natural disaster that is coming, thus the pieces title. I mean we would be recording and on breaks I would go out into the little yard behind Mind Fry Enterprises and make snow men. John would often join me in this endeavor. He would at least come out and sip a whisky and smoke a cigar while I played in the snow. It was quite comical at times. 2 grown men playing in the snow. We do have a good time when we get together. J. Kinslow, I would often see inside with Ms. Dannon (Mind Fry's secretary) chuckling at the sight of us. They found it all rather amusing. MJA: If you had to pick a favorite piece by John and Barney what would they be? Personally the guitar solo on John’s piece “Lie To the People” really grabs me. BW: That is actually one of Barney’s. MJA: Oh you’re right... still it’s a fine solo. BW: Indeed it is. Your question is a difficult one as I don’t want to offend and I truly love all these pieces. We actually had another half hour of music that we were considering and it was difficult narrowing it down to fit on the CD. MJA: Really??? BW: Oh yes, John is quite prolific and Barney had some tunes that he had never found proper outlets for, such as “Jellied Zinc” Really when I think of all the pieces my favorite really depends on the day. The sentiment behind “The Death Defying Spot” I can relate to as I met his cat Spot and she was indeed very sickly but also a very very sweet animal. Plus, as I mentioned, I had lost my horse Lester not much before that. I really can’t narrow it down. It mainly depends on my mood at any given moment. MJA: Who does the lead vocals usually. Is that you? BW: Yes quite often I do them. I asked John to do the lead on “A Prayer”. I just noticed how much he seemed to like that piece and I thought he could do the job better than I besides our voices have a very similar range and texture.
MJA: You mention that you used a local Cleveland musician Chris Solt on one piece and that Samba and Bob Kohn were denied entry to the country. What’s with that and have you seen them since? BW: Well it seems Samba had a copy of Cats Stevens Peace train that he had burned onto CD. He loves that song and takes it with him where ever he goes. The airport security felt it was a risk, after all Cat Stevens is on one of the no entry lists or something like that, and they took Samba and Bob away denying them entry. This was in New York. To answer the second part of your question ‘No’we have not yet seen or heard from either one.
MJA: How do you feel about this. BW: I am trying to have faith that this is America and that they are being treated well and that there is a good explanation to their extended absence. I know the American people are just and fair and good and I want to believe that their government is also. For if they are not, the people are being done an injustice by their own government. That would be a terrible thing.

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