Alain Eskinasi

Many Worlds, One Tribe

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This instrumental solo outing by Third Force and Koto Soto Band member Alain Eskinasi finds the Dutch musician combining new age, smooth jazz and world music. The results are generally pleasant but unremarkable; Many Worlds, One Tribe is, for the most part, an album of innocuous background music. Nonetheless, the 1996 release has more substance than a lot of the instrumental albums that were aimed at the NAC market that year--Many Worlds, One Tribe isn't outright elevator muzak, and it isn't totally mindless or devoid of thought. A few of the tunes even find Eskinasi (who plays keyboards, percussion and Spanish guitar in addition to writing, producing and arranging all of the material) detouring into jazz-fusion territory. The funky yet mysterious "Gabon," for example, isn't unlike something that Joe Zawinul would have done with either Weather Report or his Zawinul Project--"Gabon" is arguably the best thing on the CD. And "River Spirit" would not have been out of place on one of the albums that the Yellowjackets or Spyro Gyra provided in the ‘80s. But the tunes on Many Worlds, One Tribe that could honestly be described as jazz-fusion are definitely the exception instead of the rule. Eskinasi spends most of the album blending new age, smooth jazz and world music instead of getting into the sort of edgy jazz/rock/funk approach that makes jazz-fusion what it is. Again, Many Worlds, One Tribe is, on the whole, an album of innocuous background music. It is better than other albums of its kind, but Eskinasi is probably capable of a lot more.

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