The Promise is the ideal title for the new release from the Olatuja Project, the first recorded collaboration between Michael Olatuja (acoustic/electric bassist and composer), his wife Alicia Olatuja (vocalist/composer) and their virtuoso band. It fulfills the promises suggested by Michael’s 2009 debut, Speak, named the R&B Album of the Year at the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards and given a rave review by the BBC’s music website, which called it “the expression of a singular creative voice that taps all the cultures from which it is born.”
But even more than that, The Promise (World Tune Records) fulfills the couple’s collective vision to create music that fuses such traditional elements of African music as the Yoruba tongue, the talking drum and call-and-response vocals with the familiar Western languages of contemporary jazz, traditional gospel, R&B, neo-soul and a funky groove.
The Promise, produced by Michael and Alicia, takes the musical stew, Speak, to the next level, expanding on the earlier album’s rich sonic and lyrical tapestry. Its 10 tracks are inspirational and stirring, imbued with multiple, diverse colors and ambiances, abounding with a vast variety of textures and tales. As Michael says, “The songs flow like a single story,” and that story defines the special, personal and artistic world inhabited by the Olatujas.
The Olatuja Project have toured and recorded with stars such as The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, BeBe Winans, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Chrisette Michele, Lisa Stansfield, Terence Blanchard, Roy Ayers, Christian McBride, Rod Stewart and many others.
Randy Hu, one of the guys behind this new boba truck business, emailed me an hour ago to tell me about Bobaddiction. He wondered if I’d be interested in a story about bubble tea, a Taiwanese tea-based drink that started in Taichung. Recipes for it consist of fruit, milk, tea, and tapioca balls that can [...]
Every week or so, I get another email about Dishcrawl. I think this means it’s doing quite well. Another Dishcrawl thingy is happening on Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. If you buy a ticket for $75, you’ll get to eat from three great restaurants under the span of 3 hours: Mesa, Bolsa, and Boulevardier. Only [...]
I would just like to take this time, again, to remind you all that D Magazine’s 100 Best Restaurants Party is taking place on Wednesday, May 22, at 3015 Trinity Groves. This is your once-in-a-lifetime chance of pieing Nancy in the face. Do ittttt. Friday Every year Addison upstages all the other suburbs and holds its [...]
Word comes that Justin Holt isn’t done with his ramen pop-up shops. He’s doing another one this Saturday at Ten Bells Tavern. Just a little over a week ago, Teresa Gubbins posted on CultureMap that the Lucia-turned-Driftwood chef decided he would take a break from mass-producing his noodles in disposable bowls. But the ambitious man [...]