Need to raise those spirits? Here’s a gorgeous ray of Frafra gospel warmth to help you head for brighter days. Florence Adooni has been revered as one of the leading vocalists in North Ghana for some time now but she’s also been pushing boundaries as one of the key contributors to the vibrant roots-fusion sounds that define Berlin’s Philophon imprint.
If you know the label as the new home to that long standing jazz dance provocateur Jimi Tenor, then you might recognise Florence’s pristine voice from his 2020 dancefloor quick-stepper ‘Vocalize My Luv’. She’s also sings out in Guy One’s electrifying afro-beat collective as well as Algote Oho’s joyous Frafra band, the Sounds of Joy. But now, rightfully she’s getting a slot of her own with the release of the single ‘Mam Pe’ela Su’ure’ previewing a full album expected from Philophon later in 2021.
Based on a Frafra gospel hymn ‘Mam Pe’ela Su’ure’ takes the traditional celebratory spirit and opens it out to all of us. There’s cascading highlife guitar, burbling bass runs, snappy cross over rhythms and melodic brass fills, timed to perfection, It’s a groove that defies standing still, topped with Adooni’s spring heeled vocal skipping confidently around the beats, poised, clear and gleefully energetic. When her two backing singers join in for the hooks you have just got to smile.
With a canny, unpretentious low-fi video to go with the release, ‘Mam Pe’ela Su’ure’ sets the bar high for Florence Adooni but you get the feeling that it’s only just the start of something.