You have to be cautious, though, about attaching visual referents to music. Who can hear Ponchielli without flashing on a bunch of leering crocodiles trying to either eat or rape all those prancing ostriches and hippos in tutus?
Back in my Jerusalem apartment, listening to Drummers of the Nile Go South: Nubian Travels, what I wanted most was to go back in time and have this incredible album accompany me on my long bus journey to and from Egypt. It would have been a good companion for my trip and a good substitute for Busta Rhymes.
Whenever I tell people I’m in a band that plays Brazilian music, the inevitable response is, “Oh, you play Samba?”
Black and white culture are inextricably bound, rising as they do from the same common American experiences. In America, race is arbitrary: A white kid fascinated by hip-hop is fascinated by himself.