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Founders Fattah Abbou and Mohamed Aoualou, native Moroccans, combined their musical genius with avant-garde local talent, giving way to the hottest sounds in world music. AZA has traveled the globe hitting the art capitals of the world such as Montreal, Chicago, Paris and Casablanca. What does AZA music sound like?
That Tamagha Wushen opens with banjo may seem strange, but it's not: the banjo is hugely popular in Morocco, and this gorgeous second release by Santa Cruz's Aza uses the instrument deftly in its desert-inspired compositions. Fans of the band Tinariwen will hear the kinship between the music of the Atlas Mountain-dwelling Berbers and their Touareg cousins -- it's there in the spacious compositions, the loping rhythms, the chanted refrains. But where Tinariwen skews rock, Aza drops into jazz or gnawa music, taking your breath away with their ability to make it all work so well.
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