Rolling Stone - p.84
"His spring-action fingerpicking and buoyant melodies reflect his boyhood immersion in Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade."
Down Beat - p.584 stars out of 5
-- "KARIBU is a thoughtful mix of hybrid grooves, straightahead guitar soloing, free-improv and even a couple of standards....A solid showcase of a new Afro-jazz star who clearly will be with us for a long time."
JazzTimes - p.83
"Loueke's lines are smartly formed and deftly executed. His ear-friendly melodicism draws both from traditional African sources and a lifetime of closely studying the likes of Jim Hall and George Benson..."
Vibe - p.75
"A typically resourceful Loueke groove, like the standout title track, meshes a lilting melody and rich harmonic progression over a quietly propulsive Afro-Brazilian rhythmic bed."
Global Rhythm (Publication) (p.51) - "[T]he complex but beautiful 'Benny's Tune' stands out, constantly changing time signatures to stress its elegant melodic message."
Paste (magazine) (p.79) - "West African guitarist Lionel Loueke's Blue Note debut is a challenging and occasionally wondrous fusion of Afropop and knotty, dissonant jazz."
Personnel: Lionel Loueke (vocals, guitar); Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone); Herbie Hancock (piano); Massimo Biolcati (acoustic bass); Ferenc Nemeth (drums).
Guitarist Lionel Loueke hails from West Africa and has played with Herbie Hancock and Charlie Haden, among others. Loueke is essentially a jazz musician, yet he plays in the light, finger-picked style familiar to fans of West African music. KARIBU, the artist's fourth solo outing, gives ample evidence of his warm, accessible approach.
Loueke is joined here by a sympathetic bassist and drummer, while jazz icons Hancock and Wayne Shorter make appearances. Except for the Carmichael/Mercer tune "Skylark" and a reading of John Coltrane's "Naima" (on which Shorter turns in a fine performance), the tunes are Loueke's, and as a rule they are excellent. KARIBU has the advanced compositional sensibility, and the technical mastery, of the best late-1960s post-bop, but with the smooth, palatable style of many of Blue Note's 21st-century releases, making for an engaging, enjoyable listen.