The current album, 400, is a remembrance and a tribute to the music and message of the great Bob Marley. With only Sadiki’s bass as accompaniment, Elasea’s vocals bring into acute focus the power and love of Marley’s words. The results are truly incredible as Marley’s intelligence, liberation, and love come shining forth like the beacon he was.
As they write in their liner notes: “Bob Marley's music was always playing in our homes and communities. Unfortunately, that familiarity led us to take his mission for granted. We were more likely to sing along or dance to the infectious grooves than we were to contemplate the powerful messages they carried.... We continue to struggle with the same conflicts and divisions that galvanized him. Surely, we need a reminder of his healing messages of Love, Unity, and Freedom.”
The track list includes 19 songs with the 400 Years Interlude, parts 1, 2, and 3, acting as markers and occurring at the beginning, middle, and end of the track list. The oh-so-popular Stir It Up follows the intro and the musical partnership and communication of Elasea and Sadiki become immediately evident. And delightful.
No More Trouble, Is This Love, and Natural Mystic follow right after. Then comes the beautiful rendition of I Shot the Sheriff—resurrecting it from the dreadful Eric Clapton version—before continuing with All Day All Night.
One Love is exquisitely performed by the duo and the message is as meaningful as it ever was. Sadiki’s gorgeous bass work adds so much. Could You Be Loved should be a Jazz standard with the way it is treated by Elasea and Sadiki.
Redemption Song, however, my favorite of all the great Bob Marley songs, is moving and beautiful. So help me, I can’t hear it without tearing-up and this version loses none of that emotional impact. Waiting in Vain has some of Sadiki’s best bass moments and Elasea’s vocals are simply luscious.
Slave Driver and High Tide or Low Tide are brilliant and Jamming is as cool as ever with the Jazz of this version adding the swing we love. The same goes for Get Up Stand Up.
The album concludes with Exodus. Good God, I couldn’t get enough of this. It is the perfect way to end the album, calling on Biblical themes in the cry for Freedom.
Acute Inflections’ Elasea Douglas and Sadiki Pierre are masterful in their interpretations of Bob Marley’s music and prophetic message. As they themselves have said, “He’s been gone for 40 years but his message of Love, Unity, and Freedom are as in tune today as they would have been 400 years ago.”
Those who speak the words of the prophets are themselves prophets.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl