Vocalist, guitarist, composer, leader Lionel Loueke came upon the scene with a flourish with his Virgin Forest album, released in the U.S. five years ago.
The album is out as Virgin Forest: The Complete Sessions (Obliqsound) to celebrate Obliqsound's 10th anniversary and it's an auspicious occasion. Auspicious because the entire session is a wonderful mix of traditional African elements, Afro-Jazz and much else besides. Herbie Hancock and Cyro Baptista make their appearances in good form and there are six additional acoustic performances.
Loueke plays a nylon stringed guitar in a jazz-meets-Afro-meets-Brazilian samba style and it's a wonder to hear him. There are tribal, dance and modern African forms mixed into Lionel's unique guitar-centered style and it works very well. The songs are very memorable, his voice is masterful and damn, this is some wonderful music.