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Album Review

Gilfema's follow-up to their excellent debut CD adds clarinetists Anat Cohen and John Ellis to the fray, expanding the sound of lead instruments on top of guitarist Lionel Loueke's personalized concept. Where their initial recording (and Loueke's trio that also includes extraordinary bassist Massimo Biolcati and equally talented drummer Ferenc Nemeth as heard on the Blue Note CD Karibu ) was an intuitive jam style concept, this one sports an even deeper texture, buoyed by Cohen's bright alto horn, and the bass clarinet undertow created by Ellis. While the music is heavier and more contemporary in flavor, it loses none of the inventive and playful concept of Gilfema's original collective vision. Where Loueke in a leadership role features his compositions, Gilfema equally splits up those chores. The bass clarinet of Ellis works as a perfect underpinning for the band, whether shifting in funky mixed meters on "Question of Perspective," thrusting the band and Loueke's wah-wah guitar through the 6/8 time of the near klezmer piece "Salome," or in kinetic fashion merging the best of two worlds in African depth and mainstream jazz swing 50/50 during "Cove." Cohen's clear influence on Loueke during the beautiful, serene, slight samba feature "One Mind's Eye" showcases her sweet voicings on an instrument that in modern times has few distinctive champions. Loueke's presence is undeniable, as his personal, unique individualism playing guitar, singing, or oft times both, is the centerpiece on the shuffle strut "Your World" or the spare patient lines of "Morning Dew." He sounds very much like Milton Nascimento on the 6/8 opener "Twins." The 6/8 beat is the favored rhythm of the group, fueling the lead ocarina of Ellis during "LonLon Gnin," 10/8 is the witty choice for the New York neo-bop styled "Master of the Obvious," and the hip, exciting, and fun "Festa" is in 7/8. The point is this is not conventional two or four beat music, and cannot be pigeonholed on any level of Afro-pop music. Gilfema is raising the bar of world music — jazz with ethnic influences — and is not so much an aside to Loueke's major-label efforts or work with Herbie Hancock as it is a logical extension of the many kinds of music he hears, and with this great group, collectively offers to all. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Jazz trio Gilfema -- Sweden-born Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati, Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth, and West African guitarist Lionel Loueke -- met at Berklee College of Music's Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. They recorded a...
Full Bio
Gilfema + 2, Gilfema
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  • ¥1,500
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, World
  • Released: Oct 28, 2008

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