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 Daymé Arocena's 2017 album Cubafonia, Story understands the business from every conceivable angle. Initially inspired by the music and cultures pervasive throughout the Horn of Africa, Story translated his
experiences there into his previous album Wondem, followed closely by the single Wejene Aola featuring jazz luminary Kamasi Washington. If Wondem was a brief glance into Story's new creative vision, Bahir is a pinpoint refinement of that purpose, the fine-tuning and expanding of the
world he created on his Soundway debut. On Bahir, Story steps in front of those influences and 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 heencountered throughout his travels. Sudan Archives gives a show-stealing vocal performance on "Gold", while the Ethiopian producer Endeguena Muluadds impenetrable and psychedelic texture to the album's title track. So Bahir finds the polymath musician not stuck between two worlds, but as amember of both. We get Ethiopian jazz tonalities, Tuareg grooves, ekista dancerhythms, Afro-funk, Somalian soul and forays into more contemporary jazzrhythms, 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.
Colleen Grant / Sandra Hamilton
Tapan meets Generation Taragalte
Afro / Afrobeat