Friday, July 26, 2013

Agachiko Yes! Accurate Records 2013

Agachiko Yes!

The defining spirit and passion of Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone live on with Boston vocalist Agachiko!
Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

The irony of having a release steeped in political and sociological influences given today's climate was certainly not lost when opening up this package.
Another aspect not lost was the amazing passion that Agachiko and YES! brings to the table.

As perhaps the only self professed conservative critic trying to carve out a niche no matter how small in the world of improvisational music the question is certainly raised, "Can he put aside his political differences of opinion to give a fair and balanced description of YES!?" With a vocalist operating at this level of creativity the answer is pretty easy. Agachiko is a Boston vocalist steeped in the tradition of a Nina Simone but manages to work out a riff on herself without merely copying the passion of the other legendary singers previously mentioned.

While the tune "Words" is a bit self serving in its somewhat predictable attack on the Tea Party, it does draw subtle attention to the differences between a conservative that may be a member of a political party and a conservative that believes in the basic ideals of what is a movement that clearly is not indicative of all conservatives. "Words" is a well crafted tune that will make you think and Agachiko is a powerful lyricist that can paint vivid pictures with just a handful of words. As the release develops Agachiko does a delightful reharm of the classic "Since I Fell For You" and shows off tremendous depth with adding lyrics to a new piece by Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke.

Agachiko is fresh, vibrant and sings with an amazing array of sonic colors. Backed by tenor saxophonist Russ Gershon who is also an amazingly skilled arranger, Agachiko is easily destined for wide spread acclaim. The voice for a new generation. The torch has been passed, having just received my AARP card in the mail today acknowledges that while my age is catching up to me, my desire to expand my musical horizons does not acknowledge the passing of time in the traditional sense. Nor is this a traditional review...

An exciting debut recording from an artist not content to run through the same hymnal all other vocalists sing from.
4 Very Solid Stars.

Tracks: Blue Winter; Your Mama; Four Women; When The Water Is Gone; Angel Eyes; Words; Love Isn't Easy; Since I Fell For You; Now I Know; Unlovable; Yes.

Personnel: Gabrielle Agachiko: Vocals; Russ Gershon: Tenor Saxophone; Scott Getchell: Trumpet; Ken Field: Flute; Sam Davis: Guitar; Blake Newman: Bass; Phil Neighbors: Drums.