Personnel: Olu Dara (vocals, cornet, wooden horn, harmonica, guitar); Coster Massamba (vocals, congas, cowbell, shekere); Cassandra Wilson (vocals); John Abrams (tenor saxophone); Rod Williams (piano, electric organ); Dr. John (Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Fredger "Said" Dupree (Wurlitzer electric piano); Kwatei Jones-Quartey, Ivan Ramirez (guitar); Alonza "Skip" Gardner (bass); Larry Johnson, Greg Bandy (drums); Cantrese Alloway, Terrill Joyner, Rucyl Mills (background vocals).
Recorded at Globe Studios and Temple Of Soul, New York, New York.
Personnel: Olu Dara (vocals, guitar, harmonica, cornet, horns, hand claps); Coster Massamba (vocals, congas, cowbells, shekere); Cassandra Wilson (vocals); Kwatei Jones-Quartey, Ivan Ramirez (guitar); Rod Williams (piano, organ); Dr. John (electric piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Greg Bandy (drums); Cantrese Alloway (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Patrick Himes; Roger Moutenot.
Audio Remixer: Richard King .
Recording information: Globe Studios, New York, NY; Temple Of Soul, New York, NY.
Photographer: Anthony Barboza.
Arranger: Olu Dara.
Though he was established as a cutting-edge jazz trumpeter and worked with such beyond-category artists as Bill Laswell and Brian Eno, Olu Dara successfully reinvented himself as a blues musician, leaning more towards pre-electric country-blues styles. NEIGHBORHOODS is aptly titled--listening to this is like taking a brief but exhilarating guided tour through Africa ("Massamba"), New Orleans ("I See The Light"), and the bluesier parts of the American South ("Herbman"). Dara is an artist who grasps the concept that various and seemingly disparate forms of music have more common ground than most people realize, and he communicates these "common grounds" with warmth and style.
Rolling Stone (5/10/01, p.87) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...Evokes a distinctively African-American worldview, suffused with the inexplicable....his songwriting accomplishes something new: it records for posterity the subculture he's seen..."
Entertainment Weekly (3/2/01, p.70) - "...African-rhythm jazz, blues and funk make up this cornetist-guitarist-singer-songwriter's crowded milieu, and he makes it all sound as inviting as a porch swing..." - Rating: B+
CMJ (2/19/01, p.4) - "...Rich, multi-hued charms. The record traverses, song by song, both lyrically and musically, real geographical 'neighborhoods'..."
Vibe (4/01, p.172) - 4 discs out of 5 - "...Thoughtful and musically eclectic....pops mightily affirms that the blues are in the genes..."
Living Blues (7-8/01, p.61) - "...An aggressively styled melange of Afro-Caribbean and southern US folk....readers of an eclectic bent will find much to savor here..."