|Voices of Africa is a Choral and Percussion Ensemble that produces a mix of traditional African percussion rhythms and acappella vocalizing within a gospel, R&B and jazz framework. Their music is extremely exciting and spiritually uplifting. The band is comprised of five women. Each woman is an accomplished percussionist and a great vocalist. During the song We Play Drums, the band members sing, We are going to make the drum your desire. We are women and we play drums, play drums. They bring a level of joy to the music that is inspirational and deliver exceptional auditory delight.
This is a live recording. There is communication and interaction with the audience and it is obvious that the musicians are completely at ease in this setting. The group has performed in a wide variety of cultural, educational, political and motivational contexts in diverse settings. The spiritual energy present throughout this performance has been captured on the recording and is transmitted to the listener.
The liner notes indicate the instruments that are played include: sakara (hand held frame drums), sekere (beaded gourds), agogo (double headed bells) and sangba drums also known as djun djun, deep-toned bass style drums. The sounds that these percussion instruments make when blended expertly is a delight. The first track, Wo Gya starts out with chanting, the mood changes to one of urgency as the drummers lay down a polyrhythmic beat, think Elvin Jones drumming on Coltranes Impressions.
The fourth track is beautiful, In Jahs Light, four part harmonies in a gospel style, declaring a freedom march, We got freedom, freedom coming and we want to go home. The singers put it all out there. This is therapeutic music, rhythms that speak to your heart, tones that calm your mind. Check out Voices Of Africa, the World needs more of what they have to offer.
report by Paul J. Youngman KJA Jazz Advocate