Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums).

Many children are bitten by the music bug early on in life. This is often the start of a lifelong love affair with music. Soon, they’re spending all their free time listening to music. Then when they receive their weekly allowance, they make the weekly journey to the local record shop. Time is spent examining the new releases and the classic albums they’ve read about. Eventually, after careful consideration and contemplation, they choose a new album, which becomes the latest addition to their burgeoning record collection. For many music lovers, this is the start of a weekly ritual. However, for some, listening to music isn’t enough.

They want to learn how to play an instrument. Many young people want to emulate their heroes, and gravitate towards the guitar. This takes them one step nearer following in their footsteps. However, not every young musician dreamt of becoming a guitar hero.

Not Gabriele Poso, who was born in Italy on ’22nd’ October 1978. At an early age, he developed an interest in percussion. Soon, he was enjoying and understood percussion. Music was fast becoming his life and was Gabriele later explained: “a real reason to live.” He was a natural percussionist, who was blessed with flair and talent. Despite this, Gabriele wanted to learn from the best. 

So in 1998, twenty year old Gabriele Poso enrolled at the Timba school of music in Rome, where he studied percussion under Roberto Evangelista. Once he had completed his studies in Rome, Gabriele journeyed to San Juan, in Puerto Rico in 2001. He studied at the prestigious Universitad Interamericana De Puerto Rico. After completing his studies in Puerto Rico, Gabriele headed to Cuba, where he studied at the renowned Escuela National De Arte, in Havana. This was where he completed his musical education.

By then,  Gabriele Poso had only ever featured on the one recording. That was DJ Jazzy Jeff’s 2002 single Rock Wit U, where Gabriele was drafted in to play the congas. This would soon change.

Gabriele Poso was in Puerto Rico when he first met American producer, Osunlade. Soon, the pair became friends and decided to collaborate together.  Having worked together, the next natural step was for Gabriele was to record his debut album.  He returned in 2008, with From The Genuine World, which was released on Osunlade’s Yoruba Records. From The Genuine World was well received by critics and launched Gabriele Poso’s career.

Over the next few years, much of Gabriele Poso’s time was spent playing live. Sometimes, he worked alongside some of the highest profile producers, including Louie Vega, Boddhi Satva and Osunlade. On a couple of occasions he cowrote songs, but most of the time, Gabriele put his considerable skills as a percussionist and multi-instrumentalist to good use. It was a similar case when Gabriele recorded his sophomore album.

Gabriele Poso returned in June 2012 Roots Of Soul, which he  wrote, recorded, produced and mixed.  In the studio, Gabriel became a one man  band, switching seamlessly between instruments. Joining him, were a trio of guest vocalists, Osunlade, Nailah Porter and Tanya Michelle. They played their part in the sound and success of Roots Of Soul. When it was released on ‘12th’ June 2012, critical acclaim. Roots Of Soul was hailed by critics as Gabriele Poso’s finest hour.

Later in 2012, Roots Of Soul Remix was released. This remix album showed another side to Gabriele Poso’ music, and introduced it to a new audience.

Nearly two year later, and Gabriele Poso returned with his eagerly awaited third album, Invocation in April 2014. It had been recorded between August and December 2012. Not only was Gabriele a one man band, but decided recorded all the vocals. This made sense, as Invocation was a very personal album, and one which  Gabriele explained: “represents my feelings, all my emotions and all my fears.” This personal and powerful album won the approval of critics, and was showered with praise and plaudits upon its release.

Just over a year later, and the remix album Electric Invocation was released in May 2015. Again, the remix album introduced a new audience to Gabriele’s music.

Since then, Gabriele Poso has been busy touring Invocation internationally. Each night, he puts on a spectacular and memorable show. However, when he found some free time, the alt-jazz star compiled Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) for BBE. It was recently released on a double LP and as a digital download. Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) is a captivating and eclectic compilation from  Gabriele Poso.

There was nobody better qualified to compile The Languages Of Tambores than Gabriele Poso. He had spent a lifetime immersed in the study of percussion. Gabriele’s appreciated  and understood the history of drumming.Especially how drumming was once a means to communicate. This led to the concept behind The Languages Of Tambores. It’s a  lovingly curated compilation. Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums)  spans disparate musical genres and several continents and is a reminder of Gabriele Poso’s love of all things rhythmical.

Side A.

Opening Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) is Malika B and Dave Hucker’s Injection Of Blackness. It’s guaranteed to bring back memories for music lovers of a certain age. They’ll remember Injection Of Blackness featuring on the compilation One Hell Of A Storm (Versemongers Meet Soundcreators) compilation. It was released on Tongue and Groove Records in 1994. Twenty-three years later, and this spiritual sounding, downtempo track still sounds timeless.

Nigerian born percussionist Guem’s career began in 1973 when he started playing traditional trance music.  Since then, he’s released over twenty albums. This includes Patanga, which was released on the Voix D’Afrique label in 2003. One of Patanga’s  highlights is the mesmeric and melodic sounding Naja, which features a percussive masterclass from Guem.

Many musicians would’ve shied away from including one of their own compositions on a compilation they were curating. However, Gabriele Poso has included one of his own recordings, Cafe De Ochun. It’s a new track, but one that harks back to traditional African music. Gabriele showcases his considerable skills as a percussionist on a melodic and memorable track. It’s the perfect introduction to one of the most talented European percussionists of his generation.

Side B.

Eleven years after his death in 2006, Babatunde Olatunji is remembered in  Nigeria as much more than a drummer and recording artist. He was also an educator and social activist, who tried to bring about change and improve the life of those living in Nigeria. Still, Babatunde Olatunji found time to record over twenty albums during a career that spanned six decades. This included Love Drum Talk, which was released on Chesky Records in 1997. It includes Long Distance Lover, which closes the album. It’s a soulful slice of Afrobeat, which is also a reminder why Babatunde Olatunj is still regarded as one of Nigeria’s finest drummers. 

In June 2014, Free Association self-released Free Association #3. Tucked away on the B-Side of this three track EP was Polyrhythm Jizm. The original track was later remixed by Lay-Far. However, it’s an edit of the remix that closes side B. Elements of Afrobeat, disco, funk and house melt into one on this dance-floor friendly track. 

Side C.

Totó La Momposina’s career began in 1964, when she was just sixteen. Since then, the Columbian singer, songwriter and dancer has earned the respect and admiration of music lovers all over the world. They’ve been won over by Totó La Momposina’s fusion of Columbian and Afro-Latin music. This is apparent on Tembandumba, which was released on the Astar label in November 2008. If finds Totó La Momposina combining power, drama and a degree of spontaneity during a truly impressive performance.

Dudu Tucci was born in São Paulo, in Brazil in 1955. Sixty-two years later, he’s regarded as one of the world’s greatest living percussionists. However, Dudu Tucci is also a talented singer and songwriter who wrote all the tracks on his 2009 album Native Dreamer. It’s regarded as one of his best and most accessible albums. Proof of that is the soulful sounding Drum It Up, which is the perfect showcase for Dudu Tucci’s talents as a percussionist and singer.

By 2007, Nigerian percussionist Sola Akingbol was a vastly experienced musician. He had joined Jamiroquai in the late nineties, and played on 1999s Synkronized, 2001s A Funk Odyssey and Dynamite in 2005. Two years later, in 2007, Sola Akingbol released his debut album Routes To Roots-Yoruba Drums From Nigeria on ARC Music. One of the highlights of the album was Ninu Opon Ori Tiwa, which was later remixed. An edited version of Ninu Opon Ori Tiwa closes Side C. With its melodic and dance-floor friendly Ancestral Soul sound, it’s a tantalising taste of the multi-talented Sola Akingbol’s debut album Routes To Roots-Yoruba Drums From Nigeria.

Side D.

American Latin jazz percussionist Bobby Matos and Heritage Ensemble joined forces to record an album together. That album, Collage-Afro Cuban Jazz was released on Night Life Records in 1993. Nowadays, the album is a real rarity, that changes hands for large sums of money. That is no suprise, given the quality Guiro Elegua. It’s a traditional song that was arranged and produced by Bobby Matos. Although just two minutes long, they’re two magical and memorable minutes, as this irresistible track showcases the combined and considerable talents of Bobby Matos and Heritage Ensemble.

The next step on Gabriele Poso’s musical odyssey is Havana, the capital of Cuba. That was where songwriter and orchestra leader Silvestre Mendez was born in 1921. He went on to become one of the legends of Cuban music. A reminder of Silvestre Mendez in his musical prime is Ven Francisco, which featured on his 1998 album Oriza.

Closing Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) is Coming Home, a track from Ghanian master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy’s 2003 album Come and Dance. It was the second album he had released on the weltwunder label. However, Mustapha Tettey Addy’s recording career began in 1972, when he released the aptly titled Master Drummer From Ghana. By 2003, this was the perfect description of Mustapha Tettey Addy. Coming Home is a joyous and uplifting track that’s akin to a call to dance from the Master Drummer From Ghana.

After twelve carefully selected tracks, Gabriele Poso’s musical odyssey is at end. It started in England, before heading to Nigeria, and then to Italy where it all began for Gabriele Poso. From there, he takes the listener to South America, and Columbia and Brazil. There’s a return visit to Nigeria, before Gabriele jets off to America, and then to Cuba. The final destination on Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) is Ghana, where the listener is introduced to master drummer Mustapha Tettey Addy. Soon the listener is Coming Home from an unforgettable musical journey.

They’ve been fortunate to hear twelve majestic tracks from some of the most talented percussionists and drummers music has to offer. Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums) has been a truly captivating, mesmeric and sometimes lysergic journey. Short two minute sketches rub shoulders with ten minute epics, as the music veers between beautiful and soulful to   emotive and evocative and even visceral. Other times, the music is irresistible, melodic, memorable and dance-floor friendly. It’s akin to a call to dance. 

That is no surprise as: “rhythm is the soul of life. The whole universe revolves in rhythm. Everything and every human action revolves in rhythm.” These are the words of another master drummer, Babatunde Olatunji. Anyone who doubts his wise words, should sample the delights of Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums). It’s sure to change their mind.

Gabriele Poso Presents The Languages Of Tambores (A Spiritual Journey Through The Cultural Heritage Of Drums).

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