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Mombasa - Peace Maker CD (album) cover



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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Last album from the Blackburn-led Mombasa and yet another outstanding disc. Armed with a superb tree artwork, this album was released in 81 on the small Pläne label and has yet to see a Cd reissue. Blackburn for once kept the group almost the same line-up with only Charles Green replacing trumpetist Carmel Jones, but the songwriting is shared evenly between Blackburn, Green and Nicholas, which makes this album varied enough. If you're familiar with Mombasa's first two albums, you won't feel homesick when listening to Peace Maker, because their music stays pretty well faithful to itself, despite the change of decade and the musical digital upheavals

One will directly find the same superb ambiances than on their previous albums, with Peace Love & Harmony with its Afro-Latino rhythm over an excellent funky bass, the two brass instruments just wailing away carefully. Samahdi is a Far-Eastern tune, taken from Hindu-Buddhism realm. Blackburn sings in Everything Is Possible, which causes a bit of a surprise, but it goes down very well. However Spanish-Latino feel is a bit over-powering IMHO, it feels completely cliché and probably did back then as well. The title track is also sung and pleasant, but we're really waiting for the outstanding Snake Dance, the best track of the album and it would find a spot on their debut album.

On the flipside, we find the only cover of the album, called The Path. Out of the nowhere seeps out some African poetry to minimal percussions, lasting a while before a regular cymbal announces the trombone and African whistle and a great bass line, finally leading to a trumpet that sounds a little too Caribbean to my tastes and then fading out?. M-Zee is a smooth and gentle track and is content to remain discreet until Blackburn's trombone blares through your stereo aloud halfway through the album-longest track. Klike is a 7-mins smooth & gentle track that will slowly get more energetic, letting this album finish on a lovely but unfulfilled feeling.

Although a bit smoother and less energetic, Peace Maker is another superb album, making Mombasa almost perfect, with a handful of very strong albums. I suggest you start with the first two albums before moving on.

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Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 | Review Permalink

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