Virgin Forest: The Complete Sessions by Lionel Loueke Reissued On Obliqsound


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A Deluxe Digital Edition Reissue Of The Debut Album From The Internationally Acclaimed Vocalist And Guitarist Featuring Guest Performances by Herbie Hancock, Gretchen Parlato and Cyro Baptista Plus Six Previously Unreleased Solo Acoustic Tracks

Lionel Loueke & Gretchen Parlato To Perform Together On March 9 At Zankel Hall In New York City

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, independent record label Obliqsound announces a reissue of West African guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke's debut album Virgin Forest. The critically acclaimed album that first introduced Loueke to the world features guest performances by Herbie Hancock, Gretchen Parlato and Cyro Baptista. Available on March 13 as a digital exclusive reissue, Virgin Forest: The Complete Sessions returns exactly five years after its original U.S. release with eight previously unreleased studio recordings among its 26 tracks, including six never before heard solo acoustic performances by Loueke. The iTunes LP edition will also include rare and unseen photos from the sessions, lyrics and a bonus video with behind the scenes studio footage.

Originally released in Europe circa October 2006, Virgin Forest features two breathtaking duets between Lionel Loueke and Herbie Hancock plus five songs featuring vocal jazz star Gretchen Parlato that ultimately led to her debut album In A Dream on Obliqsound. Also among the highlights are a number of preludes with West African percussion ensembles led by the Raimi and Tessi Brothers. Loueke traveled to his homeland of Cotonou, Benin in West Africa to preserve these native rhythms he described as “disappearing."

Lionel Loueke's Virgin Forest went onto become one of the groundbreaking jazz albums of its era. With no “standards" performed on the album, the collection slotted original Loueke compositions alongside a series of one-on-one improvisations with Herbie Hancock and Cyro Baptista, exquisitely captured by renowned producer Robert Sadin and co-producer and Obliqsound founder Michele Locatelli. Critically acclaimed around the world, the recording was declared a “masterpiece" by France's Vibrations Magazine, while Jazz Magazine and Mezzo Magazine selected it as “Record of the Month." The album received a four-and-a-half star rating from Echoes Magazine, adding, “with Virgin Forest, Loueke can stake his claim as a real original, an artist for whom notions of genre become an irrelevance such is the sheer beauty of his work." Jazzwise called Virgin Forest “an adventure in pure sound. Virgin Forest confirms the arrival of one of the most startling new names to emerge on the cusp of jazz and African music for many years." The re-issue of Virgin Forest also marks the return to the stage of Lionel Loueke and Gretchen Parlato joined by Becca Stevens for a one off concert at Zankel Hall in New York City on Friday, March 9.

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