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Recordings » Timeline/Méta Méta
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Barak Schmool [saxes]

Nick Ramm [keys]

Tom Mason [bass]

Maurizio Ravalico [percussion]

Leo Taylor [drums]


Méta Méta is the Afro-Cuban Jazz project of Timeline, (the band that started the F-IRE Collective). With players central to the F-IRE movement including Finn Peters, David Okumu, Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Leo Taylor, Maurizio Ravalico, its output features secular contemporary arrangements of a cycle of religious Afro-Cuban religious songs and rhythms - masterminded by F-IRE founder Barak


Centred around rhythms of the three sacred Batá drums of Cuban Santeria (Yoruba religion), Méta Méta (Yoruba for three by three)  brings you a unique and exciting blend of ancient and modern, saluting nine Orishas (deities) of the pantheon by voice, instruments and movement.

Barak writes, "This project, initiated in 1998, was one devised to bring together all the fledgling F-IRE community, (students, teachers and professionals alike) to share in one music – it is fitting that the resulting album includes over 40 of those same people. Almost all the collective has participated in developing and performing this music over the years – my big band Synergy in more recent times. Maurizio's arrival provided us with the lead voice, but his attitude of experimentation insisted that we make the music our own, resulting in an intersection between deep deep African heritage and the creativity of us here, now, in London. The music thus is jazz, blues, hiphop, salsa, calypso at and the same time it retains the integrity of a Santeria song cycle."

Outside this specific project, Timeline pioneered polyrhythmic jazz, and its first CD Know Hope was responsible in part for the Collective's 2004 BBC Jazz Innovation Award at a time when distribution and labels where but a pipe dream.

Press Quotes
"...their music curves and dives in so many different directions that they find thousands of tunnels of escape inside every beat. ... when Timeline play their bass heavy rhythms they untie their moorings and face the rapids."
Kate Wharton - STRAIGHT NO CHASER, May 2003
"...a versatile jazz offering... The dizzying complexity of the melodic soundscape races ahead time and time again, offering the jazz listener the genuine article."
Luke Prater - SONGLINES, Nov 2002

"Timeline's speciality is rhythmic experimentation, and the pieces exploited the tensions, embraces and collisions between the guitar and Leo Taylor's brittle, asymmetrical drum patterns, Tom Herbert's anchoring bass grooves, Nick Ramm's bursts of Cuban-piano cheerleading and Barak Schmool's thoughtful alto-sax lines. Vocalist Maurizio Ravalico gave the music an impassioned gravity, … a fascinating accumulation of a kind of African hi-life bebop, Joe Zawinul's world jazz and cutting-edge Buena Vista improv."
John Fordham, THE GUARDIAN, October 24, 2003

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