Thursday, August 31, 2017

Music Review: 'Akoben' by Harold Little


'You Don’t Know What Love Is’ is an apt appetizer for this sensational collection of fine music by Harold Little. The title of the full album is AKOBEN, the Adinkra symbol for “war horn,” inspired this debut offering from DC native, Harold Little. Fusing jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, as well as old school hip-hop, the trumpeter channels the ancient Asante people to create a sound that reinvigorates the ever-popular go-go genre.

AKOBEN transcends classification with new harmonies and orchestration that defy description. Swing rhythm underscored prominently by the bass drum and other percussion instruments (timbales, conga drums, hand-held cowbells, snare drum, and the hi-hat). Vocal artistry evoking gentleness, wisdom and longing. The wit and candor of the war horn weaving mystery and communicating--sometimes--with the force, depth and suddenness of a blow. And, at other times, a kiss.

The ensemble is Harold Little – trumpet and flugelhorn, Bruce Williams – alto sax, Jamal Brown, Y.C. Lewis – flute, Heidi Martin and Karen Linette – vocals, Keena Chew, Brittney Ford, Brandon Ford, Angela Ford, Kristin Johnson – choir, Keith Exum – Keyboards, Vince Evans, Leroy “Scooter” Taylor - guitar, Tony Cothran - Bass, Adrian “Egg” Norton, Kris Funn, Rodney “LRod” Lewis – Drums, Arvell “Cloudy” McLeod, Dwayne “KIGGO” Wellman, Mark Steward - Percussion, Milton “GoGo Mickey” Freeman, Leroy “Boogie” Greer, Danar “Nicky Barnes” Gorham.

As the PR states, AKOBEN transcends classification with new harmonies and orchestration that defy description. Swing rhythm underscored prominently by the bass drum and other percussion instruments (timbales, conga drums, hand-held cowbells, snare drum, and the hi-hat). Vocal artistry evoking gentleness, wisdom and longing. The wit and candor of the war horn weaving mystery and communicating--sometimes--with the force, depth and suddenness of a blow. And, at other times, a kiss.

As soon as the entire recording is released, grab it! Meanwhile enjoy this tasty hor d’oeuvres. Grady Harp, July 17




Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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