WHAT A DEBUT! Sly5thAve Presents: Akuma

Also known as Sylvester Uzoma Onyejiaka II, Sly5thAve has put out an intriguingly original and creative album that mixes bop, funk and some smart arrangements with just enough room for explorative solos that will satisfy just about every fan of creative music without losing the essential grooves of jazz. He plays sax and employs the foundational team of Ross Pederson/dr, Daniel Foose/b, Hajime oshida/perc and Jay Jennings/tp as well as including other various strings, woodwinds, guitars and keyboards.

There is a fascinatingly enjoyable three part “Suite For Ogbuefi” that mixes some wonderfully bluesy grooves with driving foundations that leave lots of space for exciting horn work by Sly5 and Jennings. The two horns create a wonderfully thick pomodoro sauce of sound, while Foose’s bass creates some wonderful intros and lead ins to a couple of songs. Endearingly attractive vocals are delivered by Denitia Odigie on “Deme” while a loping bop groove is irresistible on “Lolo.” Some wildly fervent percussion creates an avalanche on  “Road to Abuja” but none of the moments ever get out of control, and the band always returns to the right path home. Smart without being stuffy. What can he do for an encore?!?

Truth Revolution Records

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