3

Ajoyo: Ajoyo

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Ajoyo: Ajoyo The best recorded music is sometimes the result of life altering circumstances stimulating the creative impulses in receptive musicians, which then take the idea into the studio. By chance, multi-reed player and composer Yacine Boulares was turned on to the infectious rhythms of Cameroon, leading to the record Ajoyo, a delightful hybrid of expressive vocals highlighted by regional bikutsi and makossa tempos, with a strong dose of afro-beat thrown in for good measure.

Surrounding himself with an international cast of hand-picked accompanying musicians, Boulares composed a series of songs based around West African polyphonies leaning toward a jazz sensibility presented by featured vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles. Charles adds a silken charm to the music, and sets the tone with her inspired interpretations. From the accelerated pace of "Jekoro," to the sentimental "Idanwo," and into the percussive "Benskin," and "Tashikere," numbers, Charles displays a mastery of tempo and tone, and exhibits why she is a rising star in the jazz vocal realm.

The rest of the band also rises to the occasion on instrumentals and kicks into high gear on "Chocot," and fuels an afro-beat frenzy into "Soke Ijo." The real joy in this ensemble is how they flow seamlessly throughout the record in the true sense of an interconnected ensemble. Everyone played their role to perfection without stepping out of the projected concept. With a blend of European and African cross cultural players in the lineup, the music exudes sophistication, yet responds to a primordial pulse.

Having paid his dues in what he calls "math music," and playing by numbers, Boulares discovered himself in the wake of his experimental foray into African music, and came out the other side a renovated and inspired musician.Ajoyo represents an engaging synthesis of what is possible when positive and creative forces are allowed to develop and mature.

Track Listing: Jekoro; Chocot; Idanwo; Benskin; The Pearl; Soke Ijo; Tashikere; Houb Ouna.

Personnel: Sarah Elizabeth Charles: lead vocals; Linton Smith: trumpet, vocals; Alon Albagli: guitar, vocals; Can Olgun: piano, Fender Rhodes, C3 organ; Foluso Mimy: percussion, vocals; Fred Doumbe: bass, vocals; Guilhem Flouzat: drums: (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7); Thierry Arpino: drums (3, 5, 6) udu (8); Yacine Boulares:: sax, clarinet, percussion, vocals; Jacques Schwarz-Bart: tenor sax (6).

Title: Ajoyo | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Ropeadope


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano" CD/LP/Track Review EJ: Song Explorations on Acoustic Guitar and Piano
by Doug Collette
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Back In Your Own Backyard" CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!