RELIX | VIDEO PREMIERE: ZEED AL MAAL
Video Premiere: Zeed Al Maal
March 17, 2022
Club d’Elf’s forthcoming album You Never Know was inspired by band leader Mike Rivard’s health ailment. Rivard was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, which was probably brought on by a blood clot that formed during a flight to Peru. Rivard, who has long turned to Eastern and holistic medicine, ultimately found comfort via the North African trance music known as gnawa. Rivard explores this music on You Never Know, the latest recording from the Boston-based world-jazz-dub collective, which set for an April 1 release and is now available for pre-order.
Today we premiere the video for “Zeed Al Maal,” which was directed by Joan Hathaway. Rivard tells Relix, “’Zeed Al Maal’ was taught to me by one of the great Gnawa masters (called Maalems), Mahmoud Gania. I visited him in his home in Essaouira during my trip to Morocco as part of a cultural delegation from the city of Somerville, MA. We were officially inaugurating a sister-city partnership with the city of Tiznit. Each of us was partnering with someone of the same profession, and I was chosen to be the sole musician on the trip, which was a huge honor. Over tea and smoke and the sound of the relentless rain on the roof, Mahmoud played the song and graciously allowed me to shoot video of him, which I went home and studied thoroughly.
“I had been listening to Mahmoud for many years (that’s him on the Pharoah Sanders album The Trance of Seven Colors), and to be in the presence of one of my heroes—who treated me like an old friend—was one of the greatest experiences in my life. Back in Boston I taught the song to the band, and we finally recorded it during the sessions for You Never Know, live to analog 2” tape, with Brahim Fribgane singing and playing oud.
Sadly, Mahmoud passed in 2015, and while we won’t get to play him our version of his version of the song, we dedicate it to his memory.”
Club d’Elf is comprised by Brahim Fribgane (oud, vocal), Duke Levine (guitar), Kevin Barry (lap steel), Paul Schultheis (wurly), Mister Rourke (turntables), Mike Rivard (sintir) and Dean Johnston (drums). John Medeski will join the group for a series of shows in April around the release of You Never Know, with the tour dates listed below the video.
Zeed Al Maal on YouTube
Fri, APR 1 Levon Helm Studios Woodstock, NY
Sat, APR 2 Drom New York, NY
Fri, APR 8 Bayside Bowl, Portland, ME
Sat, APR 9 Columbus Theater, Providence, RI
Sun, APR 10 The Music Hall! Portsmouth, NH
Thu, APR 14 Bombyx, Northampton, MA
Fri, APR 15 Soundcheck Studios, Pembroke, MA