[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
Tracklist: 1. Gumbe 7:26 (Bourelly, Diop) 2. New Afro Blu 9:50 (Bourelly) 3. Three Chambers 10:51 (Bourelli, Diop) 4. Silent Rain (Bourelly) 5. Root One (Bourelly) 6. Invisible Indivisible 7:32 (Bourelly, Diop) 7. Kinetic Threadness 7:01 (Bourelly) 8. Brother Boom Bap 1:53 (Bourelly) 9. Tara 6:36 (Bourelly, Diop) 10. Griot Sunset 1:14 (Bourelly, Diop) Line-up: Jean-Paul Bourelly - electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, filtered boom bass Abdourahmane Diop - drums, vocals With: Archie Shepp - tenor sax (on tracks 1, 2, & 6) Henry Threadgill - alto sax (on 4 & 7) Reggie Washington - bass (2, 7, 8, & 9) Samba Sock - boograboo (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, & 9) Slaka - jimbe (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, & 9) Slam T. Wig - percussion (8) Produced by Jean-Paul Bourelly. Recorded by John Davis at "Dackle Inc." studios, New York, NY, USA. Mixed by Willsing Wilson at "Bourelly Sound Source" & "All Around Music", Berlin, Germany. Licensing producer Leonardo Pavcovic (at "MoonJune Records").
Prologue. For the first time I am holding in my hands the ProGduction of the "Jazz Magnet" label. No, I haven't heard the music of Jean-Paul Bourelly until now, though I know that Archie Shepp is quite a famous jazz musician.
The Album. Although "Boom Bop" was, on the whole, created within the framework of a unified style, which is a blend of Jazz-Fusion and North-African Ethnic music, structurally, it consists of the two rather different parts. Songs Gumbe, New Afro Blu, Three Chambers, Silent Rain, and Invisible Indivisible (tracks 1 to 4, & 6) present an 'electric' part which is marked with mostly powerful and bombastic arrangements led by electric guitar solos and rhythms. The first, second, and sixth songs, in which the improvisations of sax and interplay between it and other soloing instruments are the most intensive, have a more evident jazzy feel than all of the other tracks on the album, despite most of the electric guitar solos are rather Rock-y (and Prog Rock-y) than jazzy here. The compositions of the second part consist completely of acoustic structures. Unlike the parts of electric guitar most of the acoustic guitar solos remind me of real improvisations, though I doubt that all of them were performed impromptu. There are only solos of guitar and bass, both of which are acoustic, which cross each other to the accompaniment of the varied percussion instruments on Brother Boom Bap, Tara, and Griot Sunset (tracks 8 to 10, the first of which is an instrumental). Even their predecessor, a rather bombastic Kinetic Threadness (track 7), is a completely acoustic song: it is based mostly on solos, improvisations and interplay between an acoustic guitar and alto saxophone. The only exception here is the instrumental Root One (track 5), which is filled with diverse and virtuosi (just wonderful) acoustic guitar passages. Vocals also play a very significant part in the overall stylistic palette of the album. Mostly low and rather hoarse, vocals have a specific North-African ethnic feel in each of the songs, regardless if they were sung in Algerian (I guess) or in English (on New Afro Blu, Silent Rain, Invisible Indivisible, & Kinetic Threadness).
Summary. "Boom Bop" is in many ways an interesting album. It's really great that the arrangements work here throughout the album, including all of the vocal parts. On the whole, however, all of the vocal and most of the instrumental arrangements aren't complex. It is OK with me, though, as this album sounds quite exotic. But the weakest point of "Boom Bop" is that there are no changes of tempos on all of the ten tracks on the album. Themes and arrangements develop on a tempo that is the same from the first to the last note on each of the album's compositions. Even the diversity of sounds of the varied percussion doesn't help here. In that way, I can regard "Boom Bop" as just a good album.
VM. December 29, 2001
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]