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DK IBOMEKA Love Stories
Wychwood Park WWPCD 200 6004 (2006)

DK Ibomeka hails from Canada and is of Nigerian descent. The biographical detail is highly relevant because DK's style draws on some deeply felt Afro soulful /gospel antecedents, that have been refined by a vibrant Canadian musical environment. And over the last couple of decades Canada has nurtured the very best singer songwriters and roots outfits and DK Ibomeka can be added to the list.

That DK has a deeply expressive voice is not an issue but the fact that his press mentions that he is from the same agency stable as Norah Jones and Diana Krall goes some way to explaining the MOR feel of this album.

Opening with his own radio friendly 'Someone To Love' and the clever mix of black humour and irony that marks out 'Interview' as one of his very best efforts, DK has the kind of emotive range that both Lou Rawls and Al Jarreau have made their own down the years.

Take for example, DK's interpretation of The Beatles 'Oh! Darling' which he transforms from a cutting edge Lennon rock ballad into something altogether more delicate. It's quality stuff but lacking in a tiny bit of spark.

I suspect this album will almost ceratinly slip into the jazz crossover section of record shops rather than the blues or soul racks (if indeed they still exist), but don't let that put you off.

On 'Consolation Prize' for example, the band hit a lovely late night smokey groove but you get the feeling they're not going to stretch outside of the overriding restrictive stylistic parameters, which is a shame as this album only just begins to unearth the potential of a fine singer. On the gentle shuffle 'So Long (It's Alright)' the arrangement adds some telling bv's but at the expense of any notion of stretching out.

This is a well crafted, well thought out and superbly sung album but ultimately tries too hard to cultivate one section of the market to the exclusion of any spontanaiety and or real blues feel.


Review by Pete Feenstra

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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