this new and exciting CD release entitled American Trails, guitarist/vocalist
Pascal Bokar, Father of the “AfroBlueGrazz” sound, makes a resounding musical
statement regarding the unique nature of the multi-cultural expressions and
legacies of West African heritage and African American traditions through the
the new blues-based CD by virtuoso guitarist/vocalist Pascal Bokar, connects
the American musical traditions of the South with the original 4-string
instrument from Mali West Africa, Ngoni or banjo and the West African balafon
(ancestor of the xylophone) in a powerful rhythmic and multi-sonic, contemporary
gumbo that one has yet to discover.
deepens Pascal Bokar’s exploration of the blues in his “AfroBlueGrazz” concept
with an opening ear-popping version of blues great Otis Spann’s composition,
“The Blues Don’t Like Nobody,” in a duet with vocalist Paula Harris and some
blistering scat/guitar singing.
first track of the album is followed by the sultry ballad, “I Wanna See You in
My Dreams,” also featuring Paula Harris. The funky, grooving “I Can Tell,”
introducing the West African balafon (ancestor of the xylophone) and the banjo,
is a hard-pulsing number that is sure to get everybody dancing, reuniting the
old sonic landscape of the American South in a contemporary blues and call and
response format. “Your Smile Inside My Nights” projects Pascal’s mellow
baritone vocals in a light, syncopated and dance pulse followed by the
hard-hitting blues instrumental “Let It Groove, All Night Long.” The album American
Trails closes with “Everytime I See You There,“ featuring Pascal Bokar’s
fast and delirious guitar work, which sums up this upbeat release that will
delight audiences of all ages and tastes.
Bokar previous recording, Guitar Balafonics, was selected by Downbeat
Magazine as one of the “Best CDs of 2015,” and received a 4-star review. Pascal
Bokar’s 2017 CD, American Shores, in the “AfroBlueGrazz” style coined by
the album’s producer Greg Landau, was an ambitious fusion of textures and
styles that comes from Bokar’s unique cultural perspective and paved the way
for the newest CD, American Trails.
musicians on American Shores and American Trails include: fiddler
Blaine Sprouse (Bill Monroe, Alabama), bassist Tony Saunders (Eric Clapton, David
Crosby, Gospel Hawkins Family), keyboardists Steve Carter (George Benson, Bobby
Womack), Nate Ginsberg (Herbie Hancock, Larry Graham), percussionist Idrissa
Gueye (Doudou Ndiaye Rose, Ballets of Senegal).