A late night of doing paperwork for an upcoming trip to Hungary and move to Czechia brought me to this absolute gem of a folk-prog album. Yoshiko Sai released a few albums in the mid-1970s which were not well-received at the time, but listeners’ tastes have finally caught up with her mellow, trippy, slightly psychedelic songs.
Very little information on this weird, yet funky, Pinoy band. It seems the Philippines was a hip, funky place during the 1970s! Freaky, but fun.
Kiriakos Sfetsas and the Greek Fusion Orchestra provide a cool combination of jazz fusion and a light touch of ethnic Greek music. A VERY light touch, but it works beautifully on this album.
Respect to director and documentarian Brett Garamella for weaving a story of Assyrian Christian cab driver Estaifan Shilaita, who was a talented boxer in his native Iraq until he was forced to flee to America.
From his Youtube Channel:
From 1968 to 1976, Estaifan Shilaita was the boxing champion of Iraq. Despite his success, Estaifan was barred from representing the Iraqi national team. After this defeat and seeing many of his family members affected by the newly emerging Ba’ath party, he risked everything to leave his home country. He traveled to Greece where he struggled to keep himself afloat as he watched his dreams of boxing slip away. Everything seemed hopeless until he meets his wife Hannah who brings a joy into his life that has lasted almost 40 years. Although Estaifan never finds the success in sports he desires, his journey leads him to a greater success and fulfillment than he ever imagined growing up in Iraq.
After enduring the comments section of a few websites where atheists who wouldn’t know religion if it bit them on the ass, and Pentecostal/Evangelicals who are running a very close second, I needed a bit of a spiritual cleaning. Thank you, Archie Shepp. Perfect timing!
Many thanks to my good friend, Qualo Infinity, who records this track under one of his many pseudonyms. He is a master craftsman of experimental music.