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DEXTER STORY

Dexter Story

Bahir

    Dexter Story is an artistic spirit in the truest sense of the phrase. From his work as a multi-instrumentalist for acts like the Sa-Ra Creative Partners, to his management role with Snoop Dogg and his turn producing Dayme Arocena’s 2017 album Cubafonia, Story understands the business from every conceivable angle. But over the past four years, Story has experienced a rebirth, a realignment of focus towards his own musical vision and story.

    Initially inspired by the music and cultures pervasive throughout the Horn of Africa, Story translated his experiences into the album Wondem, followed closely by the single Wejene Aola featuring jazz luminary Kamasi Washington, both on Soundway Records. If Wondem was a brief glance into Story’s new creative vision, Bahir is a pinpoint refinement of that purpose.

    On Bahir, he melds his world into the one he fell in love with so strongly while in Africa. One way in which he’s done so is by incorporating musicians from both sides of this coin. LA luminaries are featured throughout, as are African contemporaries he encountered throughout his travels.

    Sudan Archives gives a show-stealing vocal performance on “Gold”, while the Ethiopian producer Endeguena Mulu adds impenetrable and psychedelic texture to the album’s title track.

    So Bahir finds the polymath musician not stuck between two worlds, but as a member of both. We get Ethiopian jazz tonalities, Tuareg grooves, ekista dance rhythms, Afro-funk, Somalian soul and forays into more contemporary jazz rhythms, too. Angelenos like Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Josef Leimberg give the record its backbone, while African artists like the Ethiopian singer Hamelmal Abate give Bahir its glimmer and shine.

    TRACK LISTING

    Techawit
    Bila (feat. Kibrom Birhane)
    Gold (feat. Sudan Archives)
    Electric Gurage
    Mamdooh
    Buna Be Chow (feat. Jimetta Rose)
    Ras (feat. Haile Supreme)
    Jijiga Jijiya (feat. Marie Daulne)
    Desta’s Groove / Shuruba
    Song (feat. Hamelmal Abate)
    Bahir (feat. Endeguena Mulu)
    Abebaye (feat.Marie Daulne)

    Dexter Story

    Wejene Aloa Feat Kamasi Washington

      For his next release on Soundway Records, Los Angeles-based Dexter Story hooks up with long time friend and compatriot of music, the saxophonist, jazz composer, producer and band-leader Kamasi Washington.This is a record that no lover of Ethio-Jazz, Afro-Beat or Funk should be excused for not owning.  A fierce, rumbling electro Ethio-Funk groove provides the platform for an intense and powerful interplay between Washington on tenor sax and Todd Simon on trumpet. An instrumental cover version of Tilahun Gessesse's1970s cut of the same name, it's Story's homage to the  oppressed Oromo people of Southern Ethiopia. Backed on the flip by the one cut from Story's 'Wondem' long-player that did not make it to vinyl when the LP version was cut, Nia Andrew's sublime and atmospheric collaboration on Eastern Prayer will keep all those happy who
      grumbled at its exclusion from wax first time around.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Dexter Story and Kamasi lock into a deep Afro-funk groove on the A-side here, while the flip finds Dexter and Nia Andrews in soulful and spiritual mode.

      Dexter Story

      Wondem

        On his debut Soundway Records release, Story distils his diverse background in soul, funk, jazz and folk idioms into his own unique and worldly voice. Borrowing from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, this collection of East African-influenced music is a testament to Story’s decades of dedication to artistic excellence.

        ‘Wondem’ was written and recorded in Story’s personal studio in downtown Los Angeles and one of his closest associates, producer, composer and musician, Carlos Niño co-produced the record. It was mixed at Niño’s home studio.

        In addition Story worked with an array of collaborators on the record. Renowned multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson featured on the percussive track ‘Mowa’ and international producer and artist Mark de Clive-Lowe plays piano and synthesizer on a number of songs, in particular on ‘Yene Konjo’, where his acoustic piano playing there was originally inside of the main section of the song but Story felt it was so beautiful that he moved it to its own highlighted place.

        Outside of ‘Wondem’ Story has used his many talents in a supportive role serving a who’s who of iconic artists throughout his career. From tenures as Snoop Dogg’s product manager and Meshell Ndegeocello’s day-to-day representative to performing with post-millennial luminaries like Dwight Trible, Quadron, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and Gaslamp Killer, Los Angeles-based Story has a proven track record of lending the assist to established and emerging artistry.



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