Awale Jant Band: Yewoulen/Wake Up (ARC Music)

 |   |  <1 min read

Domi Adama
Awale Jant Band: Yewoulen/Wake Up (ARC Music)

Another multi-culti band out of London, but this collective of Senegalese, British, French and other players stands apart from the meltdown of jazz by the likes of Shabaka and the AncestorsSons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming, Nerija and others.

That's because this is more firmly grounded in West African music with elements from the juju guitars of King Sunny Ade, Orchestra Baobab, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the cross-current rhythms of music as heard across the Middle Passage in the Caribbean.

It's a boiling and joyous blend behind vocalist Biram Seck (singing in Wolof except on the quasi-ska jazz/rock guitars of Just Be Free) with horns, percussion players and multi-instrumentalist Thibaut Remy (guitars, keyboards).

The band name comes from the two groups – Seck's Jant Band and Remy's Awale – which have blended their talents here.

As you might expect, this sounds like a band to see and experience as much as to hear . . . but as a genre-blending album this one is guaranteed to put a smile on the face and a dance in the step.

The world is mighty crowded with Afrobeat knock-off bands but this outfit mess with the template and bring in those other elements so the obvious and increasingly threadbare Kuti references – reduced to cliches by many bands – are fewer and the mix much more enjoyable.

Very much worth hearing.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Various: Music of Central Asia Vol 4, Bardic Divas (Smithsonian/Elite)

Various: Music of Central Asia Vol 4, Bardic Divas (Smithsonian/Elite)

This beautifully packaged collection -- informative booklet, DVD with doco footage and interactive instrument section -- is not only a handsome set, but contains the remarkable voices of women... > Read more

The Yamato Ensemble: Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi, Vol 1 (ARC/Elite)

The Yamato Ensemble: Japanese Music by Michio Miyagi, Vol 1 (ARC/Elite)

Although he lived in the first half of the 20th century, the famous Japanese composer Michio Miyagi -- whose works are featured here -- actually belonged to a much older world. He wrote in the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mick Jagger and me: Passing ships

Mick Jagger and me: Passing ships

It's a little known fact, but Mick Jagger and I are real tight. And that's not just me saying that. The last time I saw Jagger -- whom I call Mick, of course -- he shook my hand and said,... > Read more

THE BUCKINGHAMS: KIND OF A DRAG, CONSIDERED (1967): The British Invasion from the Windy City

THE BUCKINGHAMS: KIND OF A DRAG, CONSIDERED (1967): The British Invasion from the Windy City

With their ever-so British name, Carnaby St attire and fashionably Beatles-style hair – not to mention their upbeat pop – the Buckinghams should have been contenders in the mid-late... > Read more