If you’re a singer-songwriter with jazz and classical, pop and gospel, American, Nigerian and European sounds in your portfolio of influences, which do you choose to begin your next project? If you are Aimua Eghobamien, a vocalist whose Poured Gently album received ecstatic reviews, you don’t choose; you showcase all of them. Refusing to be bound by genre, Black Sessions, a programme that had its debut with an exhilarating ensemble of eight at Kings Place in March 2012, does just this.
In his own compositions the full synthesis of Eghobamien’s musical roots is realised. ‘Slate Of The Atlantic’, simple and stately, looks back to the work song, the blues style of ‘You Gotta Move’ and the traditional spiritual style of ‘There Is A Balm In Gilead’ (also part of the programme) and builds in intensity with West African drums and strings one might associate with the Highlands or Blue Grass. ‘Coffee Shop Window’ capitalises on the complexity of an off-rhythm bass line and anxious strings to transform a sweet lyric of life’s possibilities into a more edgy and modern composition. ‘On The Surface’, with a catchy melody and bittersweet lyric, just soars in the perfect fusion of Eghobamien’s ear and heart. For the first time, Eghobamien’s poetry and prose will be featured with his music using an aesthetically unique approach.