Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.
Carlos Niño picks up on frequencies. In return, he transmits them back out into the universe. He’s built a vast body of work via radio broadcasts, intergalactic jams, and completely free sonic excursions. Openness requires listening, and Niño is an expert listener. “Frequently, I would say I’m doing some version of supercomputing, where I’m completely free in the moment and I’m also bookmarking sections I know I want to get back to,” he told us when he was a guest on our Transmissions podcast. For his first Lagniappe Session, he turns his ear to music by his friends and collaborators, Iasos and Laraaji, plus Pharoah Sanders and Joe Bonner.
Iasos is among the closest people in my life. We are real friends, we travel together, talk about everything in our lives, we advise each other in various ways. I have presented him in Concert. I co-produced / co-compiled the Iasos Anthology Celestial Soul Portrait, with and for Numero Group. Because of our close friendship, Iasos has made musical contributions to numerous Carlos Niño & Friends pieces. I chose to cover him, and in particular “Cloud Prayer” because he is among my favorite Artists, and because I thought that Nate Mercereau and I could play / interpret it well as a duet. Nate is also a growing Iasos fan. For me Iasos is the Musical Highest Heights, a magical, luminous, enlightened being . . .
Carlos Niño & Friends :: Essence (Laraaji)
My first real, depth connection to Laraaji was through his masterpiece record Essence / Universe. We are also quite close. Laraaji is also among my favorite artists. I have also presented Laraaji in Concert. We have toured together as a duet. I co-produced / co-mixed his albums Bring On The Sun / Sun Gong / Sun Transformations released by All Saints / Warp. Laraaji has contributed to several of my Carlos Niño & Friends Records. Essence also stood out to me as a piece that Nate and I could play well as a duet. I love Nate’s layers of guitar to create the ripples of Laraaji’s zither. Laraaji is a Profound Sage that I feel honored to know well, and laugh with . . .
Carlos Niño & Friends :: Greeting To Saud (Pharoah Sanders and Joe Bonner)
“Greeting To Saud” from Pharoah Sanders Elevation has been a beloved recording for me since I first heard it in 1994. I have known Pharoah since 1995. He was on my radio show three times in the late 90s. I have been going to see him play and have been collecting his Music since I was 17. He sat in as a special guest with my large ensemble Build An Ark twice, by invitation of our close mutual friend / collaborator Dwight Trible. Nate is also a huge Pharoah Sanders fan and while he was teaching himself the chords for this piece on the acoustic guitar, we decided to base this version on that Instrument . . . Important to acknowledge pianist Joe Bonner and violinist Michael White who are both stand outs on this exquisite tribute to McCoy Tyner.
Carlos Niño: Bells, Chimes, Cymbals, Leaves, Shakers, Shells, and Whistles. Nate Mercereau: Guitars, Guitar Synths, Pedals, and Sampler. Songs Chosen by Carlos Niño. Recorded and Mixed by Nate Mercereau. Editing and Additional Mixing by Carlos Niño. Produced by Carlos Niño & Nate Mercereau for Aquarium Drunkard.