After more than a decade of providing some of the most riveting post-Hendrix guitar arsenals this side of Eddie Hazel, and a multifaceted career that includes working with the likes of Miles Davis, Cassandra Wilson, Muhal Richard Abrams and Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Jean-Paul Bourelly is still roundly ignored in jazz-critic polls.
Nevertheless, not being in the spotlight has its advantages, such as being able to follow one's creative spirit. Witness Bourelly's latest album, Boom Bop, where he collaborates with a handful of Senegalese percussionists as well as iconic saxophonists Henry Threadgill and Archie Shepp, resulting in a visceral album of Afro-psychedelia that's as passionate as it is probing.
Bourelly's once staccato, Hendrix-inflected vocals give way to more of an elongated Afro-Arabian phrasing on Boom Bop, but Bourelly's deep delta-blues roots are firmly intact as evidenced by the eerie "New Afro Blu" in which Bourelly sings of a deceitful lover alongside Diop's fervid, chant-like singing. Other blues-drenched Afro-psychedelic charms include the percussive instrumental "Kinetic Threadness," which features some fine alto work from Threadgill, the dreamy "Tara" and the thumping "Silent Rain."
While it's far-fetched that Boom Bop will make Bourelly a household name in the U.S, it will undoubtedly solidify his credentials as one of the most inventive and under-recognized guitarists of our time.
By John Murph
released April 8, 2003
Bass - Reggie Washington (tracks: 2, 7 to 9)
Bass [Filtered Boom Bass] - Big Royal Talamacus* (tracks: 1 to 9)
Djembe - Slaka (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 9)
Drums - Slam T. Wig (tracks: 6)
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Effects - Jean-Paul Bourelly
Other [Boograboo] - Samba Sock (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 9)
Producer - Jean-Paul Bourelly
Saxophone [Alto] - Henry Threadgill (tracks: 4, 7)
Saxophone [Tenor] - Archie Shepp (tracks: 1, 2, 6)
Vocals, Drums - Abdourahmane Diop (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 10)
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