Jean-Paul Bourelly, Boom Bop (63:31) Jazz Magnet JAM-2005 2001 Guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly's ensemble combines his own heavy guitar sound and R&B- tinged vocals, the passionate African chants of Abdourahmane Diop, and the percussive drive of Samba Sock on boograboo (four large African congas with bells) and Slaka on djembe. Reggie Washington (of Steve Coleman renown) plays bass on four tracks, doubling the low end with Big Royal Talamacus on "filtered boom bass," which sounds like bass through a fuzz box. Two high-profile guest saxophonists, Archie Shepp and Henry Threadgill, appear on several tracks, enlivening the session with their free-jazz sensibilities.
Bourelly's work could be called free-form funk-rock, with strong hints of Hendrix and Vernon Reid, as well as the kind of focused-yet-free rhythmic attack associated with Steve Coleman and the M-Base movement. The term "Boom Bop" in fact captures it quite well. There's also a strong political undercurrent in Bourelly's music, which becomes overt with the rap lyrics to "Invisible Indivisible." On electric guitar, Bourelly is at his best on "Three Chambers of Diop," where his wah-wah creates a wall of sound with a unique kind of beauty. In a very different vein, his solo acoustic guitar piece "Root One" would make any Jimmy Page fan happy. ~David R. Adler
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