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Mombasa - African Rhythms and Blues, Vol. 2 CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.51 | 3 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4,5 stars really!!!

Second album from this African group based in Berlin, with a repeated title that gives right away the contents, if you've heard the debut album. And since you've heard that wonderful first oeuvre, there isn't a shadow of a doubt you love it to death and therefore there is absolutely no chance that you'll enjoy more of it and that's everything the second delivers. If Lou Blackburn, the brainchild of Mombasa, is still around, the line-up is vastly different, as he's the only remaining member left; Three new Americans (but all relocated in Europe for years) and another Jamaican (Blackburn ii also) make the new line-up. Maybe less grandiose, the sleeve artwork picture is a pretty good illustration of the music on the disc, but then again oth these first two albums are pretty much standard-exchange

Yenyeri is pretty much in the line of what the previous album had to offer: a Nucleus-type of jazz-rock over a Santana-esque rhythm with solid African influences ala Osibisa. I was very worried about Holz II, because I was afraid it would resemble the sore-thumb track of the debut, but such is not the case: even if there still some Far-Eastern ambiances, they are well-integrated with the other influences and the resulting tune is a welcome side-propos to the general soundscape of the album. Shango II is however much closer to its cousintrack on the debut album, and that's just fine with me., even if it might sound a tad more trad-jazz, despite its breakneck speed.

Nomoly opens the flipside with a bass riff that could remind Trane's A Love Supreme, but soon the track veers to Blackburn's superb trombone and an un-credited electric guitarist? Clocking just under 10 minutes, Nomoly is certainly Mombasa's best track, despite a slower improvised second half. African Hustle is a sung track that relies on a super-funky bass line and adequate trombone and trumpet bursting interventions. The closing Rahman is another funky jazz track that remains well within the sonic boundaries of the group.

Just as outstanding as its predecessor, minus the surprise, ARnB2 might even be a bit worthier because it doesn't have a "sore thumb" track that the debut had. Definitely interesting for jazz-rock fans and most progheads should not have a problem loving it as well.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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