Track: Happening afro-soul fusionists Jembaa Groove present ‘Mokole’ ahead of debut album ‘Susuma’

A lot of bands get together from chance meetings in a bar, or a gig or knowing friends of friends but not usually after a chat in a Berlin kindergarten playground. Still that’s how Jembaa Groove got started, co-founding musicians Yannick Nolting and Eric Owusu on the school pick up run, bonding over the possibilities of the soul/ jazz/afrobeat interface. Spooling forward a couple of years and the Jembaa Groove notion has become a high powered seven piece beat machine with Nolting , on bass, and Owusu ,on vocals and percussion, steering the band forwards.

The partnership have pulled in players from Berlin’s energetic fusion scene and deservedly gained momentum with their invigorating shots of smooth jazz, West African highlife and deep soul. Airplay won over and two singles in (the brass- kissed afro-sway of Basa Basa plus Amale’s melodically smouldering jazz funk), finally there’s news of the first album, ‘Susuma’ released 18th March on Agogo Records.

That may seem like a while away but to keep us tuned into Jembaa Groove’s wavelength a third preview track , ‘Mokole’, is streaming now on all the usual suspects. With a buoyant cross rhythm pulse and confident downtempo restraint, Eric Owusu’s rich refined voice curls around the tune with assurance and sincerity. It’s a song that has a subtle strength and gentle freshness. Expect more of the same uplift from Jembaa Groove when ‘Susuma’ finally drops in full.

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