Allou April - Bringing Joy

 

Allou April is a child of Cape Town, South Africa. Listening to his music one recognizes the jazz guitarist influenced by this typical music environment.

Allou says:

I find it important to project my personal passion through the music of Cape Town, Africa and also the international jazz genre. The time is ripe to share this music with the rest of the global community by encouraging the meeting of different cultures which adds many more dimensions to the world of music.

"Bringing Joy" is Allou April's debut album at Sheer Sound. The first track and title song was produced by Allou April himself at Akoustic Music Studios in Cape Town in November 2001. Obviously his visit card to the entrance of Sheer Sound this tune has the original South African flavor like rhythm, choir and guitar riffs. The message of this well tempered song arrives.

G's Vibe is more sophisticated, more jazzy enhanced. If I wouldn't know that this album is from SA, I would guess Central or South American music. Salsa rhythms combined with backing vocals. This dream of Ipanema and Copa Cabana let you swing.

Old Skool fusion is right back on Allou's Groove. Allou plays guitar riffs and solos, while Marcus Wyatt's is improvising with his muted trumpet.

More emotional stuff is Free Spirit. This is the mood of the townships captured by Allou's guitar.

More South African flava is to hear on Everyday In My Life. For those which are not familiar with this style, it sounds like Jonathan Butler's guitar music. Tracks 2 - 9 were produced by Wessel van Rensburg and co-produced by Allou April. Wessel's music was introduced to USA by the collection-album "Smooth Africa". More to read about Wessel's album at http://www.smooth-jazz.de/starportrait/Wessel/Sofine.htm.

What are the African Voices? No vocals but an approach to Pat Metheny's music. Allou accompanies his guitar play with this remarkable PM-sing-sang. Andile Yena's piano play is superb too.

With a romantic attitude Allou plays his guitar on Love Theme For TK. This song is for enamoured couples.

Back to South African mood with Elegant Dance. But on this track fusion breaks are interrupting the melody line. Allou keeps the ballance between folkloristic melody and jazz.

More time for contemplation with David's Way, a slowtempo duett of piano and guitar. 

Tracks 10 - 12 were produced by David Campos and Allou April at Groovemachine Studios, Johannesburg. Obviously another style: David Campos added drum machine rhythms. A Woman's Heart is less jazz and more pop oriented. Something for the US smooth jazz market.

A Place Called Love is an awesome R&B song. Fortunately Allou cannot resist to play solos even on this part. This tune has a strong hit potential. After listening to this tune, I asked myself who is the female singer TK? Don't forget: Allou had dedicated a love theme to her.

Madiba's Jive is simply structured. I personally prefer some bridges or breaks.

Just My Imagination shows the possible difference. This tune has more tension and changes. This tune was produced by Craig Roets.

Allou April's debut album reveals a great talent and his unique music. The album is a collection of the best material from compositions he has been putting together for the past 10 years and I honestly believe he has the potential for a lot more of good stuff.