CD Review: Ekendra Das - Ethnomusicology
The tittle says it all, Ethnomusicology is an album that reflects all the music influences on percussionist Ekendra. The release is a rich study of rhythms that goes from the roots of Africa to the modern sounds of hip hop.
"Orisha (Yoruba, Ifa Palo Lukumi)" has an interesting fusion of hip hop singing over a salsa clave. The lyrics honors the americans african heritage with a religious/santeria theme. The second track, "Una Promesa" has also a religious theme, this time Christian. Maybe the message that Ekendra is trying to get across is one of unity among religions.
The funky rhythms of "Where will we go from here" brings a strong message against the war. Shane Moore adds her soulful voice to the smooth jazz piece, "Love Divine".
"Never to return" has a world music feel with a strong arabian percussion. On "Regenaration" goes back to a smooth jazz groove but this time the lyrics are in portuguese, sung by Luciana De Oliveira. The musicalized poetry of "A Word" serves as an intro to "MPM", a composition with rumba and latin jazz rhythms and powerful conga solos by Ekendra Das. All compositions, except "Una Promesa" are Das originals
including the master percussive study "Percuassion Discussion".
Tracks: Orisha (Yoruba, IfaPalo Lukumi), Una Promesa, Where will we go from here, Love Divine, Harina con Sal (Thank You), Never to return, Rgeneration, Highways, A Word, MPM, Percuassion Discussion, World Radio
Musicians: Ekendra Das (percussion, drums), Lalita Garrett (spoken word), Jon Ely (piano), Ali Chere (bass), Radha Botofasina, Sebastian Lopez, Ana Haydee, Johnny Frias (vocals), Surya Botofasina (keyboards), John Belzaguy (bass, vocals), Freddy Dunn (trumpet), Craig Alston (saxophone), Jon Ely (keyboards), Ali Chere (guitars), Shane Moore(vocals), Steve Robinson (flute, saxophone), Luciana De Oliveira (vocals), Dhiro Dhatta (guitar), Phillip Puru Sadkin (bass), Evan Marley Hegarty (keyboards, organ), Micha Shalom (trombone, trumpet)