All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

406

Gilfema: Gilfema

Phil DiPietro By

Sign in to view read count
Gilfema, or more properly GilFeMa, is made up of three extraordinary players who are the unlikeliest of collaborators given their geographical origins. Guitarist Lionel Gilles Loueke, 30, hails from Benin in West Africa; drummer Ferenc Nemeth, 29, is a product of the jazz hotbed of Keszthely, Hungary; and acoustic bassist Massimo Biolcati, 33 is a Sweden-born Italian. Their congregation at Berklee led to postgraduate work, literally, at the Monk Institute, where they immediately came under the wing of Terrence Blanchard after being handpicked by no less than Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

Loueke may be the up-and-coming guitarist in jazz, having recorded on sessions led by Blanchard and Charlie Haden since 2003 as well as ones in the can with Hancock and Shorter; he's also turned in impressive gigs with both giants. Nemeth, for his part, has gigged with Blanchard, Billy Childs, and Chris Cheek, and appeared on Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee's impressive debut, as well as one of 2002's best debuts, the Francesco Guaiana Trio's NoJaz. Biolcati has also gigged with Blanchard, and his turn on Alon Yavnai's Picture This is not to be missed.

It is precisely that all-encompassing absorption of jazz pedagogy and association with jazz legend that pleasantly contradicts the most significant facet of this project: that these three let go of "all that jazz, focusing instead on songs and moods reflecting their ethnic roots. As wide as they may cast their nets, the members of this trio focus on the innate parts of their musical personas, with breathtaking results.

Loueke's "Gbede Temin features his vocals for a two-minute song followed by improvisation on the form, accented by vocal-animal samples intertwining with his lyrical guitar solo, supplemented by perfect scatting, supported by an odd-time ethnic rhythm and bass line. Here, as throughout, Loueke emotes on acoustic nylon-string while proving he is one the world's foremost scat-stylists, recalling and extending the skills of his countryman Richard Bona. Nemeth deals with finesse, flair, and fire, doubling up on the snare at irregular, highly interactive intervals. They end it with nothing short of a new song forged from the solo section, which, together with the surprising ending, conveys their simpatico swagger.

"Vera is Nemeth's familiar yet nonderivative plaintive ballad over a rolling backbeat and double-stopped pedals from Biolcati. Loueke's progressive elaboration of the melody during the solo spot is stunning, especially when he turns chordal while Biolcati snaps the low end of the spectrum over Nemeth's tribal encouragement. The pristine, pastoral take passes in what seems like seconds.

"Aligon shows us Biolcati's gifts for rhythmic placement and displacement in composition, stuttering while arriving at its destinations smoothly, gently prodded by Nemeth's drum'n'bass instigations while Loueke again intuitively slithers his way through. Biolcati's nimble, rock-solid solo never waivers from the midrange of the instrument.

Accessible stuff all, while running deep in complexities executed naturally and charismatically. A debut effort on paper, but to these ears a veteran set indeed. World music, maybe—world-class, definitely!

Visit Lionel Loueke, Massimo Biolcati, Ferenc Nemeth, and Gilfema on the web.


Track Listing: Dream; Lost Magic; Akwe; Gbede Temin; Vera; Tinmin; New Song; Okagbe; Aligon; Six and Three; At the Tree; Manding; Harmonix.

Personnel: Lionel Loueke: guitar; Ferenc Nemeth: drums; Massimo Biolcati: bass.

Title: Gilfema | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: ObliqSound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Gilfema + 2

ObliqSound
2014

buy
Gilfema

Gilfema

ObliqSound
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz In Detroit / Strata Concert Gallery / 46 Selden
by Chris May
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Remember Love CD/LP/Track Review
Remember Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Open Heart CD/LP/Track Review
Open Heart
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Steve Reich: Drumming CD/LP/Track Review
Steve Reich: Drumming
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2018
Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Vera" CD/LP/Track Review Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Movement
by K. Shackelford
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "Inside Turnabout" CD/LP/Track Review Inside Turnabout
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Don Phipps
Published: November 27, 2017