Jean-Paul Bourelly


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photograph of Jean-Paul Bourelly

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Why don't more people know about Jean-Paul Bourelly? He's played with Elvin Jones, Muhal Richard Abrams, Vernon Reid, Cassandra Wilson, and Miles Davis. He's played with Bell Biv Devoe and Defunkt.

His tributes to Jimi Hendrix have included Robin Trower, Buddy Miles, and Terry Bozzio. His credentials also include gigs and recordings with Elliot sharp and fellow avant-guitarists David Torn and Marc Ribot.

He has no fewer than eleven albums out under his own name, but they are hard to find in his native America. Born in Chicago in 1960, his Haitian parents taught him the legends of voudoun that accompanied the Yorubas who endured the Great Migration to labor on caribbean plantations.

His albums incorporate elements of African and caribbean rhythms, and what can best be described as free form funk. The comparisons to Hendrix are natural but limiting, since he is capable of so much more than just being a Jimi clone, which he often finds himself dismissed as being.

If you like Eddie Hazel, but wish he could jazz up a little more, or you like Ribot but wish for a bit more dirty funk, give Jean-Paul Bourelly a listen.

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