Solá Akingbolá

Routes To Roots: Yoruba Drums From Nigeria

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This is definitely a labor of love for Sola Akingbola, who makes his living working as a percussionist for the successful Jamiroquai. It takes him all the way back to his Yoruba Nigerian roots, and he presents these songs in a wonderfully stripped-down style, just drums, percussion, and voices (although with a much cleaner recording than you'd find in the field. Apart from being a stunning player with a profound knowledge of his culture, he's also a very convincing singer, as he ably demonstrates on "Aro Orunmila," where he's responsible for all the instruments and voices. Studio technology gives him the chance to create some atmosphere, but it's remarkable just how much melody he can draw from percussion instruments (on most tracks he's helped by others). There's definite soul in the performances, and if you listen closely, remarkable layers of sprung polyrhythms that build to create a thick fabric under the voices. It's an excellent piece of work, whether on something brief like "Ojo To Wa Ninu Ose" or the more lengthy "Ori Ni Kan." In-depth notes give a full background and context to each track, too.

blue highlight denotes track pick