There're two ways to get an understanding of Joe Claussell's music: You can hop on a plane to NYC and head straight to Claussell's world-renowned "Body and Soul" Sunday-afternoon tea dance, or you can get his latest disc, Language. Going the more practical route, Language is a smarter bet. Now, before you start picturing electronic wizardry, laser shows, and hands wavin' in the air, think again folks, 'cause this ain't that kind of party. There's no techno trickery here; no hammering drum machine. Bearing the flowing essence of Afro-house music, jazz, and world beats, Language takes you on a chill-out journey of deeply soulful and jazzy ambiance. The conga-rich "Spiritual Insurrection" starts things off, winding through a rhythmic maze of subtle basslines and titillating keyboard arrangements, with the flute taking over the lead on the following track, "Git Wah." On "Kryptic Elements," violin meets flute and conga drum, all caressing each other in a melodious ménage à trois of freeform bliss. Besides one lone vocal track, "Je Ka Jo," the rest of the seven cuts are pure instrumental bliss. Other highlights include "Gbedu 1 Gbedu Resurrection" and the groovy licks of "Mateen's Theme." Executive-produced by Afro-house music legend Jerome Sydenham and Claussell, Language is one of several albums over the years that have emerged out of the Body and Soul Sunday affair. Claussell's partners Francois Kevorkian and Danny Krivit have both released their own series of albums celebrating Afro-house rhythms, but for the initiated, Language speaks volumes.
AllMusic Review by Derrick Mathis