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1 Giant Leap

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Album Review

The global village shrinks down to a single neighborhood in this ambitious project. Rhythm is the road that runs through it all, drawing residents from most of the corners of the world; odd, though, that with legions gathered from India, Africa, New Zealand, Europe, and the U.S., no one from South or Latin America, or from any Native American cultures, joined the party. Even so, producers Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto accomplish a miracle of sorts by traveling to far-flung places and recording dozens of singers and musicians. Each artist contributes parts to one or another song, which are subsequently arranged into often-dazzling pastiches on frameworks of sensuous rhythm. The results are quite extraordinary: On "The Way You Dream" Michael Stipe's vocal floats into a flurry of jungle beats, which are animated by furious hand-drumming and sweetened by New Zealand flute (putorino) and Mandinka harp (kora). These elements melt together in total harmony, as if these disparate musicians had grown up playing together. 1 Giant Leap surprises constantly in this way, yet Bridgeman and Catto are apparently trying to make a point beyond music. The fact that the recipe for the human organism (70 percent water, 18 percent carbon, five percent nitrogen, two percent calcium) appears on the back cover suggests that the moral has something to do with the universality of mankind. Another reading is possible: If musicians are going to communicate over undeniable barriers, pop music — arguably the simplistic distillation of all that culture has to offer — is, for better or worse, the lingua franca. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Hear the music ,See the Movie!

If you love the music, see the movie it's even better!!! Rent it. When Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman joined forces to create the project 1 Giant Leap, they embarked upon a global journey that included Senegal, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, America and Europe, equipped solely with a digital video camera, a laptop and a vision - to capture and weave together a unique fusion of sound, image and spoken word from some of the world's most happening musicians, authors, scientists and thinkers and to explore 'The Unity in the Diversity'. Their treasure hunt brought many unexpected collaborations with such inspirations as Michael Stipe, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, Dennis Hopper, Brian Eno, Asha Bhosle, and Baaba Maal. The resulting double-Grammy nominated DVD consists of 11 short films - INSPIRATION, MONEY, FAITH, SEX, DEATH, CONFRONTATION, TIME, BLASPHEMY, UNITY, MASKS, HAPPY, and 30 behind the scenes movies. You might have found this site having seen 'The Making Of 1 Giant Leap' which has been broadcast globally by National Geographic Channel. Or perhaps you've seen them playing live with their 10 piece band and cinema screens.

What a great surprise

I had previously heard of perhaps one or two of the artists on this album. In 12 months, several tracks from it have made their way into my "favorites" lists, and it has opened up several new areas of music that I probably would have ignored before. Neneh Cherry's "Braided Hair" is a thoughtful, energetic tune which I have listened to over and over. The music is wonderful, and the lyrics are insight-provoking. "The Way You Dream" makes me feel like I can fly. It flows from almost-but-not-quite-hip-hop into electronica, with a bit of soulful blues added in. "My Culture", I've listened to 50 times, sometimes hearing anger and sometimes hearing hope. I'll listen to it another 50 times just to find out which there's more of. "Daphne" is (to my uneducated ear) a mixture of arab melody, african chorus, and american rhythym.

You have to see this film!

What an inspiration this film is, and of course the accompanying music. Extremely thought provoking, enlightening. I really enjoyed Racing Away by Horace Andy. The folks that created this project are brilliant!


Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman traveled around the world, recording what they found and collaborating with musicians from all over for both a CD and DVD. The results came under the banner of 1 Giant Leap, and featured a CD with appearances from Michael Stipe and Robbie Williams, and a DVD that featured...
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1 Giant Leap, 1 Giant Leap
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Customer Ratings