Lionel Loueke is one of the most singular, compelling and innovative artists’ on the global scene. A figure in Jazz and World Music who embodies the music’s most creative possibilities. Described by Jazz Times as a musician who’s “peers and elders deeply respect his individualism; his rhythmic capabilities and exhaustive harmonic knowledge; his ability to sing in one meter and play in another; the way he transforms the guitar into a virtual Afro-Western orchestra”. He is the ultimate original who has reached levels of individualism that many artists strive to reach. Taking Herbie’s most well-known compositions (including Cantaloupe Island, Watermelon Man and Rock It) as well as lesser-known works, Loueke has stamped his own personal sound and mark on this great body of work, all rooted in the openness and richness that Lionel as absorbed whilst being on the road with Herbie. This album is as much as a dedication as a personal tribute to a musician that has changed the face of this music. It’s a highly compelling and uniquely individual take on this music, some of which have been played by almost every single musician at some point in their career. With an artist like Lionel Loueke, nowhere will you hear versions this compelling and original soaked in the inspiration of the composer. It’s simply breathtaking.
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“Among the young musicians I’ve heard recently, he is the one that stands out for me”
“…I was immediately intrigued by his background and musical influences, for he was seemingly at home not just in his native Benin, but also in the world of the New York jazz scene.”
-Kevin Dawe | The New Guitarscape