Lionel Loueke

Lionel Loueke has wowed audiences — with his own trio and with Herbie Hancock. His nimble guitar playing and moving singing utilize tasteful electronic manipulation, and he has found a compatriot in producer/keyboardist Robert Glasper. Together with Derrick Hodge (bass) and Mark Guiliana (drums), they create a natural extension of Loueke’s prior albums. Guiliana’s deft beats add a different feel, providing funky yet subtle patterns against which Loueke soars, such as on the spacey “Goree.” “Ifê” opens with multiple voices over a bed of driving yet softly played drums, before melodic guitar. “Chardon” is a gentle exploration with soft piano complementing Loueke’s elegant playing. “Freedom Dance” is well-titled, with its joyous playing, singing and rhythms. Throughout, Loueke proves not only a remarkable musician, but one still avidly seeking his own unique path and sound.