West African jazz guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke follows up his acclaimed Blue Note releases Karibu and Mwaliko with the extraordinary Heritage, which was co-produced by label mate Robert Glasper. Heritage finds Loueke — who was hailed by The New York Times as “a gentle virtuoso” — exploring a more electric sound with a new trio featuring Derrick Hodge on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums. Glasper also contributes piano and keyboards to six tracks, while singer Gretchen Parlato provides background vocals on two tracks. Heritage begins with the mesmerizing harmonized Yoruba vocals and muted, percussive guitar of "Ifê," meaning "love." Robert Glasper's "Bayyinah," written for a departed family member, touches on the pain of life, but closes the album in high spirits.
Lionel has announced Fall U.S. tour dates in support of Heritage, beginning with three shows at NYC's Blue Note (9/4 - 9/6).