Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin – Nomadic

Rating:            1/5
Distributor/label: Svart Records
Distributor/label URL:
Released: Nov 2014
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FolderBand line-up:

Sonny Simmons
Moksha Samnyasin

And a French Bass-Drums-Sitar Trio – Thomas Bellier (Spindrift, Blaak Heat Shujaa), Sebastien Bismuth (Abrahma) and Michel Kristof (Other matter).


01 Help Them Through This World
02 We are Entering The Place Of That
03 Put It In A Dark Area Where I Don’t Remember No More
04 When It Comes, I Don’t Fight It


Celebrating 7 decades of making music, 82 year old Sonny Simmons teams up with Moksha Samnyasin to quest for Middle-Eastern, psychedelic sonorities in a free jazz 4 track EP. Recorded between Paris and New York, the album was mastered by Grammy Award-winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, Deftones).

In 1968 Sonny co-founded a music commune at Woodstock, he used to jam with his neighbour Hendrix and his career was re-launched by Quincy Jones in the 90’s. Quite a pedigree.

One has to assume then that Sonny has had far too many puffs on the peace pipe at his commune, for here there are 4 tracks that defy being called music. I know Jazz, I used to book all the top Midlands Jazz bands in the early 90’s, Trad, Dixie and Modern, I have seen them all do versions of ‘When the Saints’, so I understand that sometimes Jazz likes to play around and be different, but it still resembled a song of sorts.

Here you have a Sitar, and you immediately suspect you have wondered into a Indian Curry House somewhere along Ladypool Road, Birmingham, only next door is a New Orleans Cajun restaurant and you can hear their music through the walls mixed in with the Curry House music and then to make matters worse a school recorder class (beginners level) sets up outside to play. At other times it resembles that awful sound you get when an orchestra starts to warm up before a show, yes each member is skilled with their instrument but when they all make random sounds together without a score it sounds dreadful, that is what track 3 basically is.

Track 2 is passable as a piece of music, a bit less discordant and a little more relaxing with syncopated drums, I found the rhythms were perfect for crocheting squares to, but seriously I would be happy never to hear any of this ever again.

Being as these tracks were instrumental, it didn’t even have a great vocal performance or interesting lyrics to save it.

Review by Lisa Nash