Claude Gomis - Seeds of Baobab
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Claude Gomis
Seeds of Baobab
Rum & Humble/Ahi-Nama Music (www.ahinama.com)

Claude Gomis is the son of Orchestra Baobab's Rudy Gomis, so for the kid to have musical talent is pretty much a given. He's a skilled percussionist who knows his way around African and other global rhythms and has one of those elastic singing voices that so many West Africans seem to possess. The songs on his Seeds of Baobab CD are mainly snappy Afro-fusion, with additions like the blues accents on "Yelele," the subdued techno-thump of "I Wanna Do" and the funky bass that propels "Nadaka Bon" showing that he's interested in exploration. Not surprising, since he was born in Senegal, has lived in New York City since 1995 and is a successful painter and sculptor as well as a musician. Gomis' sense of the eclectic becomes increasingly clear as the album moves along and strains of Afrobeat, hip hop, spoken word and griot-like interludes join the dance. In fact, this disc may strike some as too varied, but as the work of an emerging artist who may still be deciding on his strongest suit(s), it's very good for the most part. The percussion is excellent throughout, recurring vocals in English are inviting, the depth of Gomis' African/diasporic roots remains evident and once you're swaying to the concluding instrumental "Brasaville," you realize that the seeds Gomis has planted are bearing fruit of a most satisfying sort. - Tom Orr

CD available from cdroots

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