Let’s take a stroll, which – for me – started long ago and more recently led me to Samuel Jon Samuelsson through his Big Band, into, Music Is the Weapon and on to Saxophonist and Band-Leader, Christopher Ali Thoren of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Clearly, Africa and her sounds have found their way all around the world… and the Afro-Beat, High Life, Ethio-Jazz, Nigerian Funk train never stops… she just rolls right on. The opening / title track, “Those Who Walked Before Us” speaks Swahili in dance form so loudly and proud that we dare you, sit still. We could not!
In this instance, the sound reminds me of the Northern Crown of the Motherland. Arabic, Egyptian and what some may call, “Oriental”, sounds, themes and instruments abound. Landing hard in a sound reminiscent of The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex and their most recent outing!
Somehow, Christopher Ali and his ‘Solideritet’ find even more clear and dangerous ways to intertwine strong Rock’N’Roll roots, riffs and references. Case in point, the track, “JAN 25th” – I mean… Smashing Pumpkins out-guitar’d by a Scandinavian Afro-Inspired, Spiritual Jazz outfit? Right On!
This album also has beats and pieces so dark, dank and hauntingly droning that I asked my inner self, ‘I wonder what ever happened to DEAD CAN DANCE?’
Other highlights include – well – the rest of the tunes. Including interludes. This really is a great album – one that you can unleash upon your knowing friends when you want to show off a bit.
Take It On and Take It In… I’m off to look for more!