Sekou Sundiata

The Blue Oneness of Dreams

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The sophomore album of poetry from Sekou Sundiata, English professor and New York aesthetic collector. The basic form is a collection of contemporary soul and jazz accompaniment to powerfully delivered spoken poems from Sundiata. The sound is more Afro-American-centric than Afro-centric, but there's a bit of a hearkening to more purely African sounds as the Senegalese drums are called out for "Philosophy of the Cool" at the end of the album. Sundiata shows off an outstanding range of vocal ability, working within the limited structure of the spoken word. He can give a sermon fit for an NAACP conference, or a string of stories somewhere between a stream of consciousness and a coherent story, all at a breakneck speed that makes Bobby McFerrin sound lazy. The atmosphere laid out by Sundiata's backing band and the occasional vocalists lend an ambience to the poetry that doesn't usually stand out so well on the majority of spoken word albums. There's some Malcolm X in here, some KRS-One, and some En Vogue, but at its core, there are only the original thoughts of an outstanding poet. This album doesn't ask to be listened to, it demands it.

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