1/  La Allah Dayim Moulenah                    (Sanders,Ghania)              11.10  
  2/  Bala Moussaka                              (Traditional)                 3.54
  3/  Hamdouchi                                  (Traditional)                 9.07   
  4/  Peace In Essaouira                         (Sanders)                     7.23
      (For Sonny Sharrock)
  5/  Boulandi Samawi                            (Traditional)                 13.56
  6/  Moussa Berkiyo/Koubaliy Beriah La'Foh      (Traditional)                 4.34
  7/  Salat Anbi                                 (Traditional)                 8.17
  8/  Casa Casa Atougra                          (Traditional)                 5.05
  9/  Mahraba                                    (Traditional)                 7.48

          Recorded in the House of the Caid Khoubane in the Medina of Essaouira,
            District Chbanat, Morocco on June 1,2 & 3, 1994
          Mixed at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Assistant at Greenpoint: Layng Martine
          Produced by Bill Laswell
          Co-Production and organization in Morocco: Eric Rosenzveig
          Production assistance and coordination in NYC and Morocco: Nicky
          Business administration/production coordination for Bill Laswell: Tracy
          Axiom: Peter Wetherbee and Bill Murphy
Maleem Mahmoud Ghania: guimbri, lead vocal, tbel; Pharoah Sanders: tenor saxophone; Maleem Boubker Ghania: second guimbri (6), tbel; Maleem Mahmoud Ahkaraz (8): tbel; Maleem Abdellah Ghania: krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Abdellah Ahkaraz: krkba, vocal chorus, handclaps; El Moktar Ghania: krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Mohamed Abdellaoui: krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Mohamed Outanine : krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Abdellatif Abdellaoui: krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Hassan Machoure: krkba,vocal chorus, handclaps; Mohamed Boujmia: krkaba, vocal chorus, handclaps; Abdellah Lamsouger: handclaps; HAMADCHA OF ESSAOUIRA (3): Maleem Abdelkabir Abbabachi: lead ghaita; Abdelmalak Ben Hamou: ghaita; Abderrahman Nimini: tbel; Abdelmoula Hnikkich: harraz; Mustapha Bousan: harraz; FEMALE VOCAL CHORUS: Zaida Ghania: leader; Mina Ahkaraz, Saida Battach, Fatna Ifis, Fatima Labied, Hafida Ghania, J'mia Ghania, Khadija Ghania, Malika Ghania.

All songs traditional and arranged by Maleem Mahmoud Ghania, except as noted
Track 3 arranged by Maleem Addabachi Abdelkabir

          1994 - Axiom/Island (USA), 314-524 047-2 (CD)
          2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)
Note: Bill Laswell does not play on this album.


To call this outing "authentic" would be an understatement, given that Bill Laswell and Pharoah Sanders took only some digital recording equipment and Sanders' saxophone to Morocco to record it. The CD sleeve photos show the informal nature of the proceedings, revealing that the recording took place in someone's home with a large cast of musicians, many of whom are Ghania's family members. The recording did not suffer at all from the mobile equipment, and The Trance of Seven Colors lives up to its title, giving the listener first-hand access to Gnawa healing ceremonial music. Ghania's Guimbri (an African instrument) unravels masterful, off-kilter, bass-like lines over chanting and various percussion instruments. Pharoah Sanders sounds inspired in the setting also, making this a worthwhile recording for Sanders fans who heard intimations of world music in his '60s dates.

3 stars out of 5

Wilson McCloy (courtesy of the All Music Guide website)