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Lionel Loueke, Mwaliko (Blue Note)

Lionel Loueke,  Mwaliko

Lionel Loueke has a musical sensibility that is decidedly and beautifully African. Born in the West African nation of Benin, the 37-year-old guitarist and vocalist plays his version of jazz steeped in the traditions of his homeland. On Mwaliko, Loueke’s second CD for Blue Note Records, he writes most of the album’s 12 songs but calls in a few of his friends for help—and he’s got some amazing friends. Bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding sits in on two tunes, one a gorgeous duet called “Twins.” Bassist/vocalist Richard Bona guests as well, and is especially captivating on the duet “Wishes.” And Angelique Kidjo adds her voice to the terrific tune “Ami O.”

Article written by Frank Alkyer

Source DownBeat Magazine

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