Jimi Tenor is the prime example of a global artist, one who loves collaborating and experimenting with (and mixing) a multitude of music styles and genres. For over three decades these very unique space funk / electro jazz / Afro psychedelic rock and soul mutations have been an absolute joy to follow, be it on records or during one of his always flamboyant live shows.
For the past fifteen years he has surrounded himself with Cuban and African musicians, recording (excellent) albums with the likes of Tony Allen or Kabu Kabu. The latest offering, Alos, has Ghana at its core, thanks to the label Philophon’s newly established "Joy Sound Studios" in Kumasi, Ghana, and the many musical connections and possibilities this offers. Philophon’s boss, Max Weissenfeldt (from Germany), is part of the killer rhythm section of Tenor’s band, alongside Ghanaian percussionists Ekow Alabi Savage and Kofi Emma. This emphasis on flute (the Alos of the title) and percussion is reflected in the three really cool interludes, Aulos I, Aulos II and Aulos III which punctuate the album, during which Tenor’s flute dialogues with the drums.
Elsewhere, the multi-instrumentalist and singer-crooner is joined by the two frafra-gospel queens Florence Adooni (who recently put out an essential 7”, also on Philophon) and Lizzy Amaliyenga who both feature on vocals on the single ‘Vocalize My Luv’, and on the frafra-gospel classic ‘Ki’igba', which Jimi re-arranged in his own musical language.
Adooni sings also on ‘My Baby’ a classy soul jazz song reminiscing of Tenor's own ‘Can’t Stay With You Baby’ from the classic 1997 album Intervision, which could well be the real treasure of the album. As cool as.
'Small Things’ is a sweet Afro soul number with subtle psychedelic flourishes, while ‘Ten Dimensions’ shows Tenor at his quirkiest and most eccentric, juggling between minimal operatic soul and space funk rock madness. Total genius!