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|3.5 great||Nick Butler EMERITUS | June 12th 11|
Before I heard this, I just figured the world of Afro-Cuban jazz was a mystery to me, but my first reaction about Kenya was to be impressed by how familiar it all sounded. I'm not sure why, exactly - it could well be that a lot of this has been sampled by other people, or used in TV shows and films, or whether its formula has simply been copied so much that I've heard all the ingredients seperately, rearranged into something else. Most likely, it's a combination of all three. Whatever it is, though, it transforms an album that might otherwise sound too exotic into something very accessible. rIt's also very enjoyable. It doesn't deviate an awful lot from the pattern of ground bass, skittering bongos, and brass-heavy orchestration, but it doesn't really need to. Not much jazz - at least, not much critically acclaimed jazz - is as openly fun as this.
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