A truly great album
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 11/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just now I came here to see if Amazon had Brozman's new Live cd (they don't, not yet) but I unexpectedly found that they now carry Ocean Blues (they didn't back when I got it in early 2001).Overall, this is my very favorite Brozman album to-date. Djeli and Bob are just magical together. If you're not familiar with the kora, it has always struck me as an ancient precursor to both the European piano and harp. Djeli is such a master. His playing on Ocean Blues is gorgeous and not to take anything away from Bob, but Djeli is the star of this cd. If I were forced to choose between Foday Musa Suso and Djeli as the only kora player I could ever listen to again, I'd pick Djeli.There are just two tracks here that feature Bob's vocals so if you don't like his vocals don't worry, they don't dominate the cd. I can see why his singing may not appeal to some people but I think he sings great here (in a Vaudevilleian Comedy sort of way!). Djeli is just a killer vocalist all the way around.The Takashi Hirayasu & Brozman cd's have had more commercial success than has this cd but to my ears this is the overall best album. My only hope is that Djeli and Bob follow this cd up with others (and tours), the way Takashi and Bob have done.There really isn't anything like the music on this cd anywhere else out there. The "blues" in the title shouldn't scare anyone off if blues isn't their thing. It's not as if this music just sounds like some sort of tropical Charley Patton. There is alot of musical ground covered here, and it's thoroughly interesting from the start. I think most anyone with a love for (or even a new curiosity about) West African music will find alot to love about this cd.It isn't recorded quite as richly as, say, Jin Jin or Tone Poems III, but the music shines through anyway. Seriously, this is one of the greatest acoustic albums of the last decade."