Thursday, September 29, 2011

CD Review: Wole Alade's 'Olodumare'

Wole Alade
Olodumare (The Creator)
AAA-Ro-Meta Records

The groovy infections of Afro-beat master, Wole Alade, can be described as pure joy. The Nigerian-native infuses a wide variety of jazzy percussion and gospel elements with a host of vocalists adding their talents. The tracks are distinctly African with American jazz and roots elements. The long instrumental sections flow evenly throughout without any rest for the weary. Wole plays the sax, algaita, bata drum, udu drum, sakara drum, djembe, fender rhodes piano, piano, and acoustic guitar. Wole's wide-ranging repertoire joins some electric guitar, strings, and other horns to create a fascinating listening journey Fela Kuti and other Yoruban Afro-beat stars would be proud of. The Nigerian and Yoruban traditions are well-represented in Wole's music, but they are perfect for people of all ages, cultures, and places. The guitar and percussion-driven "Wanderer" is a nice Afro-pop melody in the vein of Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi. At any rate, Wole's musical creations are diverse enough with various vocals, percussion, and rhythms that keep it all interesting. The sounds of Lagos are not that far away from any of us now. ~ Matthew Forss 

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