Not so long ago, with Mississippi to Sahara, Faris brought ten rural delta blues songs back to their roots in West Africa, and the result was a segueing of two separate worlds with his distinctive guitar style known as assouf.
Na Lengo, in a similar vein, is also an experiment in fusion, but between Europe and Africa, specifically the indisputable and idiosyncratic styles of African singer Denis Inyani and Spanish guitarist Gerard Guse.
Na Lengo with Ingoma has given birth to a dozen original tracks, with all the lyrics by Inyani, which amount to a relaxed and sunny fusion of jazz, flamenco, Western pop and African jazz-reggae.
On Songs like Elimu, Asante and Mkuki, there is a seamless continuity to the hybrid experiments, which, despite Walter Quintus’ light production, maintain a serrated edge, courtesy of brilliant guitar and bass from Guse and Matias Migues.
Both musicians live in Ibiza, and it shows, because the writing and the arrangements – check Tuliza and Njo Mbele – are a tapestry of multi-cultural influences, but at all times there is cohesion of the temperament and traditions of several cultures.
Based on the harmony and the friendship of the principal collaborators, mixed with half a dozen superb musicians ( Sergio Gimenez and David Romano), you can readily understand why Ingoma is a confluence between two neighbouring continents driven by harmony, friendship and a unique take on music.
Within the jazzy harmony, there is a plenitude of space for twists and turns in the arrangements (Lala Salama), driven by the percussion, and the overall listening quality owes much to the acoustic resonance of the instruments.