Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Lionel Loueke: The Journey

Friedrich Kunzmann By

Sign in to view read count
The Journey finds Benin's guitar prodigy Lionel Loueke in a stripped-back setting, often painting gentle sound-sketches using only his voice and a guitar. In place of his long-standing trio, comprised of drummer Ferenc Nemeth and double bassist Massimo Biolcati, Loueke has assembled a divers array of guest musicians for subtle accompaniment when needed. The fifteen songs compiled on this album exhibit some of the most versatile music the guitarist has created to date, and represent a sort of summary of his career- spanning works. The creator himself states "This album is a very personal project—it is the clearest reflection of the melodies and musical atmosphere that I carry within me every day."

Besides the jumpy funk-infused opener "Bouriyan" and jam tracks like "Bawo," folkier elements are especially prominent. "Molika" or "Vi Gnin" display the extent to which Loueke has developed as a vocalist, and carry most fragile melodies into the open. While most compositions rely on various acoustic guitars, some of his signature electric guitar playing makes it on to the record as well, the loop-based "Dark Lightning" being a prime example. He also draws from his past catalogue and presents reinterpretations of "Okagbé" and "Gbede Temin," now written together "Gbêdetemin." Both songs were featured on the trio-recording Gilfema (ObliqSound, 2005) and have been stripped down to their very core elements, now presented at a much slower pace in a much more atmospheric fashion. The booklet translates what Loueke sings in the Benin native Fon and reveals lyrics that contemplate war, and question the world we live in.

While dancing rhythms and celebratory chants, typical for Lionel Loueke, do find their way into this record, the more reflective side of things prevails and makes this endeavor one of a very profound and touching amplitude. The minimalist instrumental approach only adds to this intimate feeling and places the listener right by the source. If not in person, then this is probably the closest one might ever get to meeting Lionel Loueke.

Track Listing: Bouriyan; Molika; Bawo; Vi Gnin; Mandé; Kába, Dark Lighnting, Vivi; Hope; Gbê, Gbêdetemin, Guida, Okagbé, Reflections on Vi Gnin, The Healing

Personnel: Lionel Loueke: guitars, vocals, percussion; Pino Palladino: bass;Coro Baptista: percussion; John Ellis: soprano saxophone; Christi Joza Orisha: percussion; Robert Sadin: keyboards; Dramane Dembélé: peul flute; Mark Feldman: violin; Patrick Messina: clarinet; Vincent Ségal: cello; Étienne Charles: trumpet; Massimo Biolcati: bass; Ferenc Nemeth: percussion;

Title: The Journey | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Aparté

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Rossignol

Rossignol

Lionel Loueke
Virgin Forest

Radio
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Close Your Eyes

Close Your Eyes

Newvelle Records
2018

buy
The Journey

The Journey

Aparté
2018

buy
GAïA

GAïA

Blue Note Records
2015

buy
Heritage

Heritage

Blue Note Records
2012

buy
Mwaliko

Mwaliko

Blue Note Records
2010

buy
Karibu

Karibu

Blue Note Records
2008

buy

Upcoming Shows

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Cuando Sea Necesario Album Reviews
Cuando Sea Necesario
By Dan McClenaghan
March 22, 2019
Read West 60th Album Reviews
West 60th
By Peter Hoetjes
March 22, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Mark Corroto
March 22, 2019
Read Arirang Fantasy Album Reviews
Arirang Fantasy
By John Sharpe
March 22, 2019
Read The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul Album Reviews
The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
By Mike Jurkovic
March 22, 2019
Read Octopus Album Reviews
Octopus
By Jack Bowers
March 21, 2019
Read Pinch Point Album Reviews
Pinch Point
By Mark Corroto
March 21, 2019