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Richard Reiter: I Hear Africa

Saxophonist/flutist Richard Reiter’s I Hear Africa (City Pigeon) is a fusion effort that includes a number of African elements and influences inspired by the award-winning composer’s trip to Senegal in West Africa. With an instrumentation of his own saxes and flute plus keyboard, electric bass, guitar, drums and percussion, Reiter’s fourth album integrates African percussion and rhythms with funk, pop and jazz fundamentals to create a kind of enhanced fusion sound, including several tracks specifically influenced by Senegalese Afro-pop. But the program is broad enough to encompass a gentle recital piece in which flute, guitar and keyboard engage in delicate improvised counterpoint and imitation, as well as an a capella rendition by 12 overdubbed saxophones of a piece inspired by an all-male African vocal group. Solos are spread throughout, but “Jobim Time,” especially, contains an excellent series of mainstream modern improvisations. Jaunty two-beat fusion, wistful ballad, Afro-Pop, whatever-the compositions and the band’s renditions of them reflect consummate professionalism.

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