Thursday, September 3, 2015

Modou Toure & Ramon Goose, The West African Blues Project

Senegalese music master Modou Toure and British blues guitarist Ramon Goose create a very hip melding of stylistic universes on their album The West African Blues Project (ARC Music EUCD 2591). It is a very engaging and successful on all levels, combining the West African folk and Afrobeat grooves with traditional percussion plus drums, bass, and the fine blues-rock-Afro guitar work of Goose, in a rootsy blues meets contemporary African style. Toure handles the vocals and percussion throughout and is exceptionally strong, with overdubbed call-and-response segments and impressive lead vocalizing. Each song has much going for it. There are no fillers.

Toure comes out of the legacy of the Toure Kunda band. His father is Ousmane Toure. Goose made an impact on the UK blues scene as a member of NuBlues and went on to produce some acclaimed blues albums in the US.

The music is a cooperative venture, with the compositions showing strong African foundations and the blues element sometimes coming to the forefront, other times an underlying constant via the magnetic Goose guitar style.

It all works in impressive, moving ways. The grooves are irresistible and the blues element is a natural fit with the West African contemporary orientation. The two talents fashion a music that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to move. Very cool, indeed!

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