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George Panda - Out Of Africa
Album Cover - Out Of Africa
Out Of Africa
 Artist: George Panda
 Album: Out Of Africa
 Date of Release: 2011/11
 Label: Unity Compound Records
 Cat. No.: UCRecordsCD001
 Country of Release: UK
 Genre/s: 1. World
2. Jazz

 Sub-Genre/s: 1. Afro-Latin, West African, Contemporary, Experimental
2. Afro-Latin, World, Contemporary
 Type: Studio
   Time: 54:32
   Date of Review: 2012/03/20
   Web Site:  
   Sample Track

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Out Of Africa

Released on Unity Compound Records in November last year, George Panda's Out Of Africa turns out to be a fascinating and in several ways unique debut. Even on first play, there was something unusually exciting and fascinating about this album.

Panda is a highly accomplished drummer originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa. He is joined on Out Of Africa by two other fine musicians of West African origin, Serge Ngando on double bass, from Cameroon, and Jonathan Idiagbonya on piano, from Nigeria, as well as Irish singer Nuala Dalton. An excellent team producing excellent ensemble playing and some fine soloing.

But what stands out immediately and most of all on first listening to Out Of Africa is the impression of the polyphony and polyrhythms of West Africa that it evokes. The drumming could perhaps best be described as highly melodic. Moreover, it quickly becomes evident that this music seems to be written 'from the ground up,' that is, drums and bass first, then melody and harmony, a unique approach, or certainly, a very original one. This works superbly well and is one of the fascinating aspects of Panda's album. Of course, all tracks are originals, and excellent in their own right.

Another unique and fascinating approach is that, rather than concentrating on purely West African or African Jazz rhythms, Panda explores the rhythms originally brought to the Americas by West African slaves and modified over time in a jazz and Latin jazz context. Thus, we find rhythms as diverse as the relatively modern 'Mozambique' rhythm of 1960s Cuba, the samba, the rumba (in 5/4 as well as in 4/4 with sophisticated 3 against 4 passages), the Guaguanco, Bembe and Songo (again, a relatively recent Cuban creation, here in 7/4), as well as blues and conventional jazz rhythms. Out Of Africa references the African origins of all of these rhythms, rather than African rhythms or African jazz per se.

The result is a thoroughly modern sound, traps-driven and with driving grooves. Out Of Africa is a veritable feast for the aficionado of Afro-Latin rhythms and of Afro-Latin jazz. What is more, this album works supremely well on both a jazz and world music level. Almost as a bonus, the last three tracks are drum solo medleys of all the preceding tracks.

Not only remarkably consistent, Out Of Africa is also more than compelling - rather, it is almost hypnotically compulsive and addictive. Those rhythms get to you, so get in the groove! A highly enjoyable listen that takes over your feet.

George Panda's Out Of Africa is a must have for any lover of Afro-Latin rhythms or Afro-Latin jazz, regardless of whether you approach this from a world music or jazz angle. I would definitely like to hear more - much more! - of George Panda and his amazing drumming.

© 2012 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. At The Beginning - 2:54
 2. L.A. Vamp - 2:07
 3. Unity House - 3:28
 4. Dancing In The Fast Lane - 2:37
 5. Freetown To London - 4:26
 6. Blama Blues - 4:00
 7. Lunchtime Jump! - 2:59
 8. Where Are You? - 3:40
 9. Back To Front - 3:59
10. Common Ground - 2:48
11. Out of Africa Part 1 - 6:54
12. Out of Africa Part 2 - 7:20
13. Out of Africa Part 3 - 7:18

All tracks : George Panda, lyrics Nuala Dalton

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George Panda - drums, vocals
Jonathan Idiagbonya - piano
Serge Ngando - double bass
Nuala Dalton - vocals


Purchasing Info:

Out Of Africa can be purchased from:

CD Baby (MP3)


Amazon UK (MP3) (MP3)

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