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Black Magic: The Cyber Jazz Experience by Ajamu Akinyele

Well I don’t know much about the cyber jazz experience, but I do know good jazz when I hear it! Akinyele, a bassist who is native to the San Francisco Bay area, and his partner in crime, keyboardist Jon O’Bergh, do a marvelous job of enveloping one in some incredibly innovative creations.

When I first saw this CD, not knowing what to expect, I braced myself for some extraterrestrial offerings, intent on taking me places I didn’t care to go. What I received instead was 16 tracks of pure artistic creativity. From the opening track, "Pandora’s Boxx," which really only sets the stage for more intense (and, in some instances, soothingly mellow) pieces to follow, this CD demands your attention. There are simply too many good pieces to single out each one (although "Black Magic," Crystal Ball," "Spellbound," "Gemini Blues" and the ever-spellbinding Sade classic "Sweetest Taboo" come to mind right off the bat).

The CD has everything: keyboards and bass that go from the silky, smooth and enticing to the nasty, funky, I-mean-it cuts like "Gemini Blues." Akinyele’s music has been compared to the likes of Prince and Sweetback (with the rendition of "Sweetest Taboo," you can sense the influence of Sweetback, Sade’s band, easily). However, I also hear Spyro Gyra, Bob Baldwin, and a number of other creative artists in this music.

Oh yeah, this is definitely a CD to quench your aural thirsts. It comes with a DVD of live performances and interviews to boot. Ah, the immense satisfaction of hearing fresh material such as this makes listening to music all the experience it is intended to be. Get this one!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ajamu Akinyele
  • CD Title: Black Magic: The Cyber Jazz Experience
  • Genre: Smooth Jazz
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Pearl Jazz Recording
  • Rating: Five Stars
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