November 29, 2009

Kafele Bandele--Acid Reign

This artist was introduced to me recently during a Facebook session with one of his fans. Though this is an older project (released back in 2006), I think the fact that this independent artist put so much effort into it and produced what I think is a pretty stand-up product, certainly warrants recognition.

Acid Reign is a good fusion CD, full of a lot of diverse material (I hear acid jazz, hip-hop/rap, African grooves laced with some cool scat, a touch of straight-ahead here, free or avant garde jazz there, and a smooth groove or two.

Kafele Bandele is a trumpeter, composer, and producer who has been playing trumpet for about 15 years. Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bandele was first exposed to jazz by his parents. In fact, he attributes his love and appreciation for the art to his father who often played John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and Miles Davis, among others. Later, his brothers and sister introduced him to Hip-Hop and R&B. This musically diverse background is certainly evident and provides clear answers as to his influences and pretty unique style.

Tunes that warrant a listen on this album include the title track with its hip-hop/free jazz fusion feel, the bright and rhythmic African-flavored “Morning Rush,” a hard-to-pigeonhole-free-jazz effort, “Softly She Blows By,” with its interesting vocals and chords, the aforementioned “Faraway Places,” and the stylish and exotic “Every Time She Breathes” with its interesting timing and suave vocals.

This album is full of unique expression, and Bandele’s trumpet does a great job of unleashing the free style that it often adopts. His is as serious approach to such expressionism as I’ve heard. It has that Miles flavor, that Coltrane touch, and yet a flair all its own. It’s not at all exclusively smooth jazz, but if you’re seeking to shed a different light on your jazz, Bandele may have had your taste in mind with Acid Reign.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at November 29, 2009 3:44 PM