Mina Agossi | Well You Needn't

Mina Agossi must be considered one of the music’s most compelling voices. On this, her second album for Candid, she demonstrates her singular ability of taking a cover and making it completely her own.

Mina Agossi | Well You Needn't
 Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ sounds like it could have been written for her, so complete is her identification with the song. Similarly, listening to Joe McCoy’s ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?’ Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn seem an absolute world away. Whether searingly intense on the self-penned ‘Don’t Look At Me’, or playfully enigmatic on the title track, the singer’s minimalist, less is more aesthetic has the ability to create magic out of the simplest materials. The support she receives from her drum and bass team of Ichiro Onoe and Alex Hièle is exemplary, the latter’s looping bass lines providing the striking backdrop to ‘Drive’, one of the album’s standout cuts. Featuring Bachir Sanogo’s beautiful playing on the six-string kamala n’goni (the kora-like Malian harp), ‘May I Sit At Your Table?’ possesses the innate strength and timeless quality of a folk song. At once both guileless (consisting of a hypnotically repeating ostinato in the bass and harp carried along by Onoe’s delicate brush work) and sensuously inviting, this track more than any other reveals the fascinatingly wide-ranging nature of Agossi’s creative persona.

Mina Agossi (v, perc), Rob Henke (t), Alex Hièle (b), Ichiro Onoe (d) and Bachir Sanogo (perc). Rec. June 2005

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