Welcome To 'Jazz Shaped', a UK based blog endeavouring to explore the vibrant British jazz scene and the superb musicians that it encompasses.

Search The Blog
Tweet Me
Top 3 New Releases
  • The People In Your Neighbourhood
    The People In Your Neighbourhood
    by Led Bib
  • Life to Everything
    Life to Everything
    by Phronesis
  • Touch And Flee
    Touch And Flee
    by Neil Cowley Trio
« I Don't Listen To Any Jazz That Pre-Dates The Esbjorn Svennson Trio (1993) | Main | NYJO At The Proms: Am I Officially Middle Class Yet? »

Antonio Forcione: Sketches Of Africa

Where my affection for African music stems from I'll probably never know. it seems most likely that I find the quintessential style of the continent familiar, but upon contemplation it's worth noting that any memories of it which I do harbor, consist of absolutely nothing life affirming or substantial. In truth, the soundtrack to Disney's 'Lion King' has probably been the single greatest bridge connecting me with the music of humanity's birthplace, but there definitely is something which makes me engage with it.

Whatever this previously alluded to 'something' is, I have found it encapsulated in the new CD from that 21st century 'Jimi Hendrix' of acoustic guitar: 'Antonio Forcione'. With his first studio album in five years, the London-based guitarist's latest excursion focuses largely on music of origin, with every element on the album drawing towards a laid back, authentic, and most of all respectful body of work. Throughout, African instruments such as the Kora feature alongside Western standards and create an effortless amalgamation of styles which ultimately contribute to the abundance of personality on this wonderful record. The harmonies are rich, the melodies are unfaltering and the percussion section remains subtle and welcoming throughout. This is one record which really does outstretch an invitational hand to you and gleefully beckons you to come and dance.

I've listened to this album every day after work and I can safely say that getting in and washing up has never seemed so vibrant or enjoyable. If I really must compare it to a metaphorical Western entity in an attempt to relay the special nature of the album, my offering would be this:

 Penguin Cafe Orchestra meets Bassekou Kouyate for an unrivaled session of musical exchanges and melodic meanderings - There's your poster quote mate!

Coming to a grateful set of ears on the side of your head in September 2012


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>