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THE PERSONAL FILE

Corey Harris is keeping in touch with his spiritual roots

January 13, 2008

It all flows through Corey Harris -- R&B, reggae, acoustic Delta blues, New Orleans brass -- all the way back to the deep roots and polyrhythms of Africa. Harris has persistently placed himself in disparate settings and written compositions that reflect his broad-based journeys. His latest, "Zion Crossroads," is a sort of scrapbook of his decade-long exploration. Harris, a 2007 MacArthur Fellow, will be speaking at the Getty Center on Saturday and next Sunday. He shared his sources of inspiration with Lynell George.

TiVO PICKS

I sometimes watch HGTV or Court TV. I like the History Channel series "Digging for the Truth," where they travel to Ethiopia in search of the Holy Ark of the Covenant.

MUSIC HALL OF FAME

All-time favorites: Ernest Ranglin, Sizzla, Lutan Fyah, Jah Mason, Warrior King, Tarrus Riley, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, Culture, Cibelle, Anything from the Ethiopiques series, Ali Farka Toure, Bembeya Jazz [National], Orchestra Baobab, Fela Kuti, Djelimady Tounkara, Mamadou Diabate, Son House, Charley Patton, Bukka White, Tommy Mclellan, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sleepy John Estes, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Danny Barker, James Booker, Bird (Charlie Parker), Dexter Gordon, Miles [Davis], Dizzy [Gillespie], Ghostface Killah, KRS-One, Pharaohe Monch, Talib Kweli. . . .

SOUNDTRACK FOR THE ROAD

Lately I have been listening to a Bob Marley bootleg from L.A. sometime in the mid-'70s I think. Also "Black Woman & Child" by Sizzla and an unreleased CD by (guitar virtuoso) Mohamed Kouyate from Guinea.

BEDSTAND LIBRARY

My most recent read is "Negus: Majestic Tradition of Ethiopia" by Miguel F. Brooks; "Ethiopian Women of Power" by Lance Seunarine; "The Destruction of Black Civilization" by Chancellor Williams; "Griots and Griottes" by Thomas Hale.

YOUTUBE PICKS

I like to watch old music videos and concerts like Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder (right), Donny Hathaway, Grant Green.

SECRET WEAPON FOR NAVIGATING THE CULTURE

Music and natural living keep me sane and useful to my fellow humans. I also like to walk for exercise, but I don't think my culture must be navigated but rather simply lived, with genuine conviction. Bless up!

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