Oduor Nyagweno: Where I Go, I Am There LP (Dagoretti Records, 2021)

October 27, 2021 at 9:10 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Oduor Nyagweno: Where I Go, I Am There LP

Oduor Nyagweno is one of the world’s greatest living nyatiti players, having played the instrument since the age of 14. He’s performed for presidents and in competitions, and travelled around the globe. This LP was recorded in and around Nairobi by Pete Larson, one of his students, on a cell phone, and apart from a few tracks with an additional player or singer, the entire record is just Oduor and his nyatiti. His playing is highly disciplined yet it seems to just flow out of him, and his hypnotic, rhythmic playing accompanies his weathered yet casual and friendly-sounding vocals. Even with just a single instrument being played, it’s hard not to dance to the joyous rhythms of songs like “At Korogocho”. The songs are recorded live on the street, as evident by the ambiance of bird chirps and conversation from bystanders. The nyatiti master is right at home and in his element, and it’s just a remarkably spirited recording. The album was released as a benefit to help build the musician and his family a new house; more info is on the Dagoretti Records Bandcamp page.

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