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Mwaliko

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 9, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Originally from Benin, West Africa, Lionel Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the jazz world. An innovative jazz guitarist, he utilises electronics, looping, mouth percussion and voice.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ami O
  2. Griot
  3. Twins
  4. Wishes
  5. Flying
  6. Intro to L.L.
  7. L.L.
  8. Nefertiti
  9. Vi Ma Yon
  10. Shazoo
  11. Dangbe
  12. Hide Life
  13. Soul Sound
  14. A.M.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 9, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B0031S4K7M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,654 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Lionel Loueke Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frank Camm on August 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Precision finger-picked jazz guitar in tightly presented textures that feel improvised, but had to be worked through precisely with his counterparts to achieve the close integration with his players. Angelique Kidjo is her big-boned self, but can dance intricately with his voice and guitar. Esperanza Spalding is more subtle and supple, dancing in wordless voice and bass lines, on her own, or with his wordless voice and guitar. All form a tight unit throughout that hints as much of the Caribbean and Brazil as of Africa on most tracks. Standout: tr 8--Nefertiti. Lumpy galumphs in lines, rhythm, and harmonies. Shadowy bronze intensity. Tight, exact, but always a bit off balance. Compelling.
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Format: Audio CD
This album contains some great musical performances by a wonderful guitarist, however the instrument being played is that often chintzy sounding piezoelectric pickup style guitar which to this writer's ear always come across as thin and brittle, like rubber bands snapping. Equally offensive in my opinion is his use of the octave up digital pitch shift effect with too much barber pole feedback (or to be more accurate, regeneration). These are the kinds of sounds one wants to avoid putting on a record altogether but for some reason they are embraced here. If it weren't for guest appearances by Angélique Kidjo and Esperanza Spalding I would consider this album as totally dispensable. Perhaps in time my opinion will change.
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Format: Audio CD
There are few artists who rise out of poverty in Africa to record an album for Blue Note. Loueke is one of those rare artists, and, unsurprisingly, has infused his modern, happy, fast and floating guitar licks with a healthy dose of African stylings and vocals. Indeed, it is the tracks that clearly come from his own roots that are the most enjoyable and original. On the slower tracks (3, 4, 6) the sound is too introspective, so stick to the tracks where he shines with the unusual combo of fast guitar, light bass, and African-style vocals: Ami O (tk 1) is joyous and fun; Hide Life (tk 10) has a Hawaiian feel; Vi Ma Yon (tk 9) sounds like some kind of invocation; Shazoo (tk 10) is instrumental and has a Sun Ra style. Overall, a big step up from his 2008 release with Gilfema+2. I hope he sticks with this stuff and with Blue Note.
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Format: Audio CD
Lionel Loueke has an appealing guitar sound which is vocalizes along with. The mood is generally upbeat. "Mwaliko" has an additional vocalist, or vocalist/bassist, on six songs, two trio songs, and three solo songs. Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" is Loueke with drummer Marcus Gilmore. Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, and Esperenza Spalding each play on two songs. Those songs seem full enough with the extra voice and bass. This is a happy album, only the trio songs are 'serious jazz'. The rest have a jazzy, African feel. Loueke fans, or anyone interested in this sort of thing, should pick it up.
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