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Omar Hakim Experience, The: We Are One

Drum sensation Omar Hakim has played with so many well known artists since bursting on the scene in the early '80s with Carly Simon, Mike Manieri, Dire Straits, Sting, and Weather Report. Over the years he's been on recordings with or shared the stage with the likes of David Bowie, Lee Ritenour, The Rippingtons, Marcus Miller, Madonna, Kazumi Watanabe, Mariah Carey, and many others. In addition, he's also released a few solo albums along the way, with We Are One being his latest, also being billed as 'The Omar Hakim Experience'. With an all-star cast to help him out, We Are One is a very enjoyable collection of jazz-fusion, funk, R&B, and smooth jazz.

"Transmigration" sets the tone right off the bat, a smoking hot fusion burner with some sizzling guitar from Special EFX axe-man Chieli Minucci and intense rhythms from Hakim and bassist Jerry Brooks. Scott Tibbs also contributes some intricate keyboard lines here as well. "Carpe Diem" has a more laid back feel, with bluesy harmonica courtesy of Gregoire Maret and more tasty guitar solos from Minucci. Rachel Z shows up here as well and adds her soothing synth tones. The sultry jazz guitar licks of Jimi Tunnell tug at your heart on the melodic "With Every Breath", and the somewhat funky, jazz-electronica "Remember to Remember" sees Hakim digging deep alongside Brooks for some thick grooves underneath Tibbs' majestic electric piano and Minicci's deft acoustic picking.

"Walk the Walk" again returns to red hot fusion territory, Hakim's busy drum work laying the foundation for Bobby Fracheshini's stabbing sax and Minucci's complex guitar lines and meaty riffs. It's easily one of the highlights here on We Are One. Minucci's melodic lead guitar and Rachel Z's lovely piano soar on the funky jazz of "So There", another tune filled with deep grooves from Hakim & Brooks, while "Listen Up!" is another funky fusion burner with some great licks and rhythms. Fracheschini and Minucci team up to deliver some great lead melodies on the fiery "Molasses Run", with Tibbs' glorious electric piano and the duo of Hakim & Brooks creating magic underneath. "Forever Friend" settles into a more groove laden, laid back jazz feel, and the tender title track sees Hakim tackling drums, keyboards, guitar, synth bass, and percussion, sharing vocals with Angel Rogers.

There's some really great playing from everyone involved here on We Are One. Hakim once again shows what a truly amazing drummer he is, but also his skills as a composer really need to be credited as well. Minucci also impressed the hell out of me here; it's been a long time since I've listened to Special EFX, and while I've always known what a talented player he is, I guess I need to revisit his work again after hearing his guitar stylings on this album. All around good stuff from the entire cast!


Track Listing
1. Transmigration 6:23
2. Carpe Diem 6:16
3. With Every Breath 4:09
4. Remember to Remember 6:56
5. Walk the Walk 4:10
6. So There 5:25
7. Listen Up! 5:08
8. Molasses Run 5:03
9. Forever Friend 5:32
10. We Are One 4:30

Added: March 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1929
Language: english

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