Babatunde Lea

Soul Pools

Motéma 76-09363-7136-2

Babatunde Lea, drums, percussion; Ku-Umba Frank Lacy, brass and vocals; Hilton Ruiz, piano; John Benitez. Bass; Mario Rivera, soprano and tenor saxophone, flute; Kevin Jones, percussion; guest artists; Jana Herzen, vocals; Raul Midon, guitar, mouth trumpet

"Soul Pools" is marking the debut of new label Motema Music; well, if they wanted to come in with a bang, this is the CD for them. The extraordinary Babatunde Lea heads a group of fine motivated musicians that bare all in this breathless, full blooded powerful set. This is deep sound, raw, relentless; it bites into you, the Afro Latin rhythms that under pin will intoxicate; you might not have heard drumming like this for a very long time. "Round The World" presents a strong vocal from Jana Herzen, with typically pumped up support from everyone else. This is music to stir the imagination; it is exuberant, expansive, and almost too big for its own boots. There are intoxicating drum solos that take you to strange places; "Whoa Baba" is an example of this richness. Africa calls through much of Babatunde's music, it creates tingling excitement, an earthy smell that that is so tangible one can almost reach out and touch it. This is no place for clinical analysis; this is music to consume you, passionate, heart felt, impossible to categorize. Buy it for the experience.

A bonus CD is added for the first pressing. It features Babutunde Lea and his touring quartet of Hilton Ruiz, piano; Geoff Brennan, bass; Ernie Watts, tenor saxophone; live at Rasselas. A twenty-five minute track with the benefit of a live audience to add spice to the usual mix of dynamic sound.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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