Bolo (Bolo Music, 2015)
Bolo is the title of the superb debut album by a trio of northern California based multi-instrumentalists named Bolo. The world music group celebrates the Divine by using an arsenal of musical instruments from various parts of the world, developing exquisite pieces that blend world music with jazz rhythms and stylings.
The album’s repertory includes original material as well as compositions and melodies by well-known artists in the world music scene: Ayub Ogada, Hamza El Din, Ali Farka Toure, and Jai Uttal. There are beautiful combinations of central African kalimba with Afro-Cuban chants, delightful bansuri (India bamboo flute) melodies and outstanding drumming throughout the album.
The majority of the songs and instrumentals are dedicated to a deity or spiritual beings from various traditions of the world. Bolo’s musicians include Surya Prakasha on drumset, vocals and harmonium; Eliyahu Sills on on ney and bansuri flutes, oud, and upright bass; Evan Fraser on West African kamale ngoni, kalimba, and percussion.
“From the time we first played together we knew we had the same approach in terms of trusting the groove,” says Eliyahu Sills. “We don’t feel we need to get our egos involved; we take turns in the lead with the others supporting.”
Bolo got started when Evan Fraser, who has been involved in many global music projects, including Dirtwire, met Eliyahu Sills on stage at a popular festival in the West Coast of the United States called Burning Man. That led to his participation on the album by Eliyahu & The Qadim Ensemble. Surya Prakasha, one of the finest drummers in the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene, already knew Sills. When they finally played together, everything felt right and Bolo was formed.
Bolo is a beautifully crafted recording that combines stellar jazz and world music performances inspired by the musics of Central and West Africa, Cuba and India.
Buy the album from cdbaby.com
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.