Omar Hakim is back and with a release that embraces a harmonious synergy of discovery!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
One you are one of the finest drummers on the planet having tenure with artists such as Sting, Madonna, and Miles Davis you have little time to concentrate on your own work. We Are One is the first release in fourteen years, a high octane conceptual work moving well past standard categorization. While the ensemble cast forms that perfect harmonic union there are notable appearance by Rachel Z (piano), Chieli Minucci (guitar), Gregoire Maret (harmonica) and Bob Francheschini (tenor sax).
While Omar moves through a myriad of rhythms there are evocative vibes given off a more spiritual flavor than simply the stereotypical bash fest. Highlights are plentiful with "Transmigration," Walk The Walk" and "Listen Up" heading the list. "Transmigration" seems to pull from a Return To Forever meets Weather Report expansion while "Walk The Walk" is simple fusion gone wild, full contact jazz with no quarter given. "Listen Up" embraces a more old school Stanley Clarke funk and while artistic comparison are often unfair, this might be a fairly accurate melodic road map of where Omar Hakim is heading on this release.
This is music in the moment. The percussive firepower of Hakim is in full effect and complemented by an ensemble cast that is clearly on board the rhythmic train. We Are One is an aptly titled release as there are bits and pieces of improvisational flavor here for everyone. Omar Hakim is at the top of his game and takes yet another giant leap forward in contemporary music!
Tracks: Transmigration; Carpe Diem; With Every Breath; Remember To Remember; Walk The Walk; So There; Listen Up!; Molasses Run; Forever Friend; We Are One;
Additional Musicians Not Mentioned Above: Jimi Tunnell: Guitar; Scott Tibbs: Keyboards; Jerry Brooks: Bassist; Angela Rogers: Vocals.
Special Thanks To Michael Bloom of Michael Bloom Media Relations.