FINNISH groovemeister Jimi Tenor, who’s all set to release his second album for Berlin’s Philophon imprint, has been out in Ghana getting deep into the Afro thang for new album Aulos; and commendably excellent his efforts have been.
If you caught his 7″ release back in July, “Sugar And Spice”/”Lover’s Bridge (Instrumental)” your mouth will already be watering for big, fly, funk: brass stabs, polyrhythms from Ghanaian drummer Ekow Alabi, jazz horn clusters heading across 110th Street; and cinematic Afrobeat redolent of 60s’ Sun Ra.
The name of the album, Aulos, is taken from an Ancient Greek woodwind instrument that symbolised ecstasy and this-worldliness. It was played by the Satyrs, who surrounded Dionysus, the god of earthly bliss.
And you’ll find “Afroeuropean” a blissful slice of Afrojazz-funk, stuffed full of polyrhythmic mantra, once again courtesy master percussionists, Ghanian Ekow Alabi Savage and Max Weissenfeldt from Germany, the latter of whom also manned the faders throughout; vibraphonic ring; space-funk guitar breaks, big, big brass joy.
The basics were laid down at Max’s studio in Berlin-Kreuzberg, before decamping to Ghana to meld musics with frafra-gospel queens Florence Adooni and Lizzy Amaliyenga, on vocals; Kofi Emma on the kpanlogo, a Ghanaian drum, and guitarist Sergio Manuel.
Jimi says: “[As] the name of the album Aulos suggests, I wanted to feature flute quite heavily on it.
“I love complicated melodies and structures, so there are a couple of songs where we went just for it.
“Of course, the core of the album is groove-based music with African-style basslines”.
Jimi Tenor’s Aulos will be released by Philophon on digital, CD and vinyl formats on November 20th; you can order your copy now at Bandcamp.