www.PaulBowles.org

 

 

  

THE ROLLING STONES & THE MASTER MUSICIANS OF JAJOUKA

 LED BY BACHIR ATTAR, PATTI SMITH, AND LAWRENCE MYNOTT

 

Paul Bowles was interested in various types of traditional indigenous Moroccan music including the Jilala, Gnawa and Jajouka. Here Bowles is shown with Bachir Attar, the leader of The Master Musicians of Jajouka. The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ron Wood) and the legendary Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar, recorded for three days during the summer of 1989 at Palais Ben Abbou in Tangier's Kasbah. (Les Rolling Stones à Tanger, au Maroc avec les Maîtres Musiciens de Jajouka dirigé par Bachir Attar en 1989). Other photos on this page are of the singer, poet and writer Patti Smith, and the artist Lawrence Mynott, who painted a portrait of Paul Bowles.

 

 
Paul Bowles and Barbara Nutting greet the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Bachir Attar, the leader of the group, stands at the center.)   In June 1989, The Rolling Stones recorded with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar for three full days at le Palais Ben Abbou in Tangier, Morocco's ancient Kasbah.
Mick Jagger with Bachir Attar, leader of The Master Musicians of Jajouka,
Palais Ben Abbou, Tangier, Morocco, 1989
 
Mick Jagger and Bachir Attar, the leader of the legendary Moroccan music group The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar, during a break in one of the three-day recording sessions held at the Palais ben Abbou in the Kasbah of Tangier, Morocco in 1989. The Master Musicians of Jajouka, in addition to recording with The Rolling Stones for the song "Continental Drift" on the Stones' Steel Wheels album, were also simultaneously filmed for a BBC Television production of "Rhythms of the World", entitled The Rolling Stones in Morocco. The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar have performed all over the world, have been featured on both Moroccan and international radio and television, and have recorded film music with the London Philharmonic. Bachir Attar lives in the village of Jajouka, Morocco.

Another internationally-known musical talent who was inspired by Paul Bowles' novel The Sheltering Sky and other of his literary works is the singer and actor Sting. In 1983, The Police issued the album Synchronicity that includes a song track called "Tea in the Sahara", the lyrics of which contain the phrase "beneath the sheltering sky". "Tea in the Sahara" is also the name of the first section of Paul Bowles' first novel The Sheltering Sky, now considered a classic book in literature.

 

Paul Bowles and Barbara Nutting listen and observe as Mick Jagger sings and performs during one of the recording sessions with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. During the summer of 1989 The Rolling Stones spent three full days in Tangier, Morocco recording with The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. Jajouka and the Stones recorded the song "Continental Drift" for the Stones' Steel Wheels album. The other songs on the Steel Wheels album were recorded at the legendary Air Studios on the Caribbean island of Montserrat which was founded in 1979 by Sir George Martin, The Beatles' longtime producer.

 

 

Ron Wood

Ron Wood in Tangier, during The Rolling Stones' 1989 Tangier recording sessions, Palais Ben Abbou, Kasbah. (Photograph copyright © 1989 by Cherie Nutting).

 

 

Ron Wood and Keith Richards
Ron Wood and Keith Richards take a break during the recordings. Tangier, 1989. (Photograph is Copyright © 1989, Cherie Nutting (Any reproduction and use without written permission is prohibited.)

 

 

Bachir Attar with Paul Bowles

Bachir Attar visits Paul Bowles in Tangier, Morocco, winter 1991. Here they wear traditional Moroccan jellabas. (Photograph Copyright © 1991 by Cherie Nutting. Reproduction and use without advance written permission is prohibited.)

Paul Bowles and Brion Gysin first heard the ancient music of the Master Musicians of Jajouka in July 1950, when they attended a moussem (a religious festival) on the Atlantic near Sidi Kacem not far from Tangier. Gysin was a painter and writer who had moved from Paris to Tangier.

Contrary to some misinformation on the Web, Paul Bowles did not record any music from Jajouka as part of what later became The Paul Bowles Music Collection at The Library of Congress. Bowles made those recordings of indigenous Moroccan music at various times and places in Morocco between 1959 and 1962, not in the late 1940s.

 

 

 

Patti Smith
Singer, poet and writer Patti Smith and Paul Bowles were photographed in June 1997 by Tim Richmond for the German edition of Vogue magazine. In June 2009, Patti Smith performed at Royal Festival Hall in London alongside The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar at the Southbank Centre's Meltdown Festival 2009, curated by jazz legend Ornette Coleman, who is a friend of Bachir Attar. Patti Smith won the National Book Foundation's National Book Award for Nonfiction in November 2010 for her book Just Kids, a memoir of her close relationship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe.

 

 

Lawrence Mynott

 

 

The British artist and illustrator Lawrence Mynott, in the photo at the left, contemplating his portrait of the Hon. David Herbert, New York 1997.

Lawrence with his wife, Anthea Pender-Mynott, and the composer and writer Phillip Ramey, Tangier, 1995.

 

 

 

Paul Bowles stands beside the portrait painted by Lawrence Mynott. Tangier, 1991. Visit the official Lawrence Mynott Web site for further information on his work.

 

Paul Bowles and Lawrence Mynott, Tangier, 1991

 

 

 

Paul Bowles' Friends: Part One; Part Twoprevious (Part Three); next (Part five). 

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