Tag Archives: New releases

The Excitements – Sometimes Too Much Ain’t Enough

7 Aug

The new album: “Sometimes Too Much Ain’t Enough” released on September 30, 2013 via Penniman Records


The Excitements have been tearing it up Europe-wide since their 2010 beginnings as well as having sessions with Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul Show on BBC 6 Music under their snakeskin belts.

Their new single harks back to New Orleans legends such as Professor Longhair and Clarence “Frogman” Henry and lays down a path to their long playing release due in September on the Penniman label (the label’s name itself a tribute to Richard Wayne Penniman aka Little Richard – rock and roll’s enduring king of all things extravagantly and flamboyantly unhinged).

Listen to the new single here: http://soundcloud.com/penniman/02-ha-ha-ha-1‏

Who are The Excitements?

In early 2010, the sonic whirlwind known as The Excitements emerged in Barcelona, Spain, delivering its Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and Soul cocktail, old school style, and astounding audiences over the country and, shortly after, Europe.

Photo by Ran-el Cabrera

Photo by Ran-el Cabrera

Since then, the band founded by Adrià Gual (rhythm guitar) and Daniel Segura (bass) has brought their powerful set to a huge number of macrofestivals such as Coleur Café (Belgium) and Les nuits Secretes (France), jazz festivals such as San Sebastian’s Jazzaldia (Spain), Nancy, Lille (France) and Liege (Belgium), plus many specialized festivals, such as Funtastic Dracula Carnival, Purple Weekend or Beat Goes On (Spain), while also heavily working the club circuits over the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the UK, among others.

The band is strongly influenced by the best Afro-American music from the past century, focusing on old school soul sounds. Fronted by the explosive lead vocals of Koko-Jean Davis; the scorching 6 strings of Lalo Lopez on lead guitar and Adrià Gual on rhythm guitar; the thundering rhythm section driven by Marc Benaiges (drums) and Daniel Segura (bass); and last but not least, the soulful sounds of Nico Rodríguez Jauregui on baritone sax and Marc Lloret on alto sax. Its rhythm section builds an ultra-tight bedrock, perfectly complemented by its saxophones, following the early sixties tradition. The band brings an energetic show comprising the most furious and authentic R&B floor fillers and one or two spine-chilling ballads, wrapped in a show delivered without mercy, which invites the crowd to one of the best parties you can find.

Etta James, Ike and Tina Turner, early James Brown or Sugar Pie de Santo are some of the names that’ll give you a hint about The Excitements’ sound, always loyal to the US R&B and Soul tradition.

You can check it all by yourself grabbing a copy of their first LP and any of their several 45s. All of them are released by Barcelona’s label Penniman Records, one of the most important R&B and old school Soul labels on the planet.

Photo by Ran-el Cabrera

Photo by Ran-el Cabrera

The new sensation of the national soul scene, pure dynamite on stage. Rolling Stone (Spain)

A voice, a rhythm and a magic that is contagious. Público (Spain)

Listening to them takes you back to a world and a time when music was real, thrilling and had real soul. Ruta 66 (Spain)

For more information please contact Gerry Lyseight on

020 7095 8146 / gerry@glpr.co.uk / http://www.gerrylyseight.co.uk

Africando – ¡Viva Africando!

7 Aug



Africando – ¡Viva Africando!

Released 23rd September

cat.no: STCD1120

bar code: 5017742301543



¡Viva Africando! ¡Viva!

Africando’s 8th studio album, this is the first not recorded primarily in New York. This time the Africando masterminds, producer Ibrahima Sylla and arranger Boncana Maïga, bring New York’s top Latin musicians – led by pianist Oscar Hernandez – to Paris. There they reunite with the group’s vocal stars, Medoune Diallo, Sékouba Bambino, Amadou Ballaké and Shoubou, along with distinguished guest singers from diverse African and American countries, singing, all told, in 10 different languages.

But whatever the language, with Africando it’s always classic big-band salsa – salsa dura – the hottest Afro-Latin style. That dedication to a golden sound is brought home in the album finale, a tribute to Africando by the great contemporary American champions of classic salsa, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, featuring Ray de la Paz.

Africando has always been a meeting of Africans and Latin Americans. It always will be. That was the idea in the beginning, and it has held up splendidly (and inspired other bands).

Africando’s first seven albums were recorded mostly or entirely in New York, for this eighth studio set the New Yorkers travelled to Paris. That wasn’t the plan, but the war in Mali intervened, making it impossible for Africando’s Malian arranger and music director, Boncana Maiga, to renew his US visa in time to make the album in New York. Fortunately, he was able to go to France, carrying tracks begun in Bamako (Mali) and Dakar (Senegal). In Paris he reconnected with Ibrahima Sylla, Africando’s producer and instigator, and in November 2012 they were joined by six musicians from New York, led by pianist Oscar Hernandez, who has been an integral part of Africando since Gombo Salsa (1996).

Many familiar voices grace Viva Africando. The veteran Senegalese singer Medoune Diallo is a charter member of the band, now in its 21st year. Sékouba Bambino, Guinea’s biggest star since his youth in Bembeya Jazz National, joined Africando in 1996 and remains a permanent member while continuing his very successful solo career. Roger Eugène, better known as Shoubou, a patriarch of the pre-eminent Haitian band, Tabou Combo, has been moonlighting with Africando for 17 years. A pioneer of modern music in Burkina Faso and also an Africando concert trouper, Amadou Ballaké is back for his fourth album with the band.

Jos Spinto, who has performed with Africando over the past decade, dedicates one of his songs in the new album to the late Gnonnas Pedro (1942-2004), an early pop star in Spinto’s home country, Benin, who in the last eight years of his life won new fans worldwide in the Africando front line. Pascal Dieng of Super Cayor de Dakar returns to Africando for his second album, as does his fellow Senegalese singer, Bassirou Sarr of the group Dieuf-Dieul.

This album presents four distinguished singers making their first appearances with Africando. Rene Cabral has led Cape Verde Show for over three decades. Lokombe Nkalulu was in one of the hottest Congolese bands of the high ‘70s, les Grands Maquisards. James Gadiaga is a nobleman of Senegal’s Royal Band de Thiès. Raymond Fernandes, born in Dakar to Cape Verdean parents, recorded his song during the Africando sessions for Mandali, but when he died before the album’s release, his track was removed and saved for a better time – now.

Africando has always welcomed guests to the stage and to the studio – great singers especially but also instrumental soloists. Viva Africando comes to a rousing finale with a piece by an entire guest orchestra: the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, under the direction of Oscar Hernandez and featuring lead singer Ray de la Paz. The strongest champions of classic salsa today, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra pays tribute in “Africa Es” to its great ally in the cause, Africando.

For more info please contact gerry lyseight:

gerry@glpr.co.uk / http://www.gerrylyseight.co.uk / 020 7095 8146



Ibrahim Maalouf – Diagnostic – Released 23/1/12

23 Nov

Lebanese/French trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf is the go-to guy for everyone from Amadou & Mariam to Vanessa Paradis to Sting.

Diagnostic is Ibrahim Maalouf’s third album, and it forms the final chapter in a triptych which began with his albums Diasporas and Diachronism. Diagnostic is a magnificent conclusion to a cycle based on the search for an original aesthetic, one dominated by the four-valve trumpet and in which he traces his path through many universes: jazz, classical, world, rock, electro… and even rap, as shown here by the presence of Mali-born, French rapper Oxmo Puccino. This album completes an artist’s search for independence from genre constraints, in answer to a desire for unity and harmony. It also allows the musician to bring together all the sounds which have fed his imagination since childhood – whatever their origins: whether a nurturing orient or an emancipated west.

The closing Beirut pays a moving tribute to his country of origin, Lebanon, itself a torn extension of Maalouf’s family. An open, instinctive musician for whom technique necessarily serves feeling, Ibrahim Maalouf establishes himself here as a composer who, over time and through experience, has acquired mastery and assurance, both of which offer different kinds of freedom. “Nothing forbidden” was the golden rule which governed the recording of Diagnostic – meticulously orchestrated and feverishly ‘alive’. You can hear Ibrahim for the first time on piano, the instrument with which he began his musical career, and he also sings.
If the geographical epicentre of this record lies in the Balkans, whose exuberant, brass-band style the trumpeter borrows here, his travels also take him to Cuba, Latin America and even China… a nomad’s logic which also leads him to a piano introduction reminiscent of Chopin, an improvisation over a Michael Jackson theme in We’ll Always Care About You, or a stripped-down, ‘no complexes’ passion for heavy metal which Maalouf has preserved since adolescence. Inside this great whirlpool entwining his whole life in its vortex, Maalouf’s trumpet dispenses a thousand intimate emotions: anger, nostalgia, despair, euphoria… Blowing with rare intensity and exceptional depth, his horn articulates the pain and tenderness of the past, while bearing witness to the vast ambitions of a creator who has become a master of his discourse.

“Diasporas” reviews:
http://www.allaboutjazz.com “… ultimately uncategorizable but compelling music.

Jazz Journal “… impressive debut set …”

Jazzwise  “… in the lineage of the great Don Cherry though his debt to anybody from Oum Kalthoum to Massive Attack should also be recognised.”

Songlines ****

http://www.ukvibe.org.uk 4/5