Hassan Hakmoun Makes NPR’s Best Global Music of 2014

Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun started out flying high and fast in his international career. Not long after moving from his native Marrakesh to New York in 1987, he found kindred spirits in some incredible musicians, including friend Miles Davis and collaborators like trumpeter Don Cherry and singer Peter Gabriel (for whom he also went on to record for the Real World label).

Hakmoun made a string of interesting but occasionally unfocused fusion recordings in the 1990s — but somehow, until this spring’s release of Unity, twelve years had passed since his last album (The Gift) was issued.

In that long absence, Hakmoun has perfected a singular and organic fusion of all the music he loves, overlaying elements of jazz, funk and rock to his Gnawan roots, which he expresses through vigorous polyrhythms and the hoarse cries of both his voice and his sintir. For fans, it’s been a really long wait, but the results are worth it.

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