This is an intriguing project from a vocalist of considerable skill, concept, and history. It was as much a pleasure for me to read the bio as it was to listen to the material on this latest album, Bamisphere, from Gino Sitson.
To understand this special concoction, one must first retreat from what is considered traditional vocals and mentally and emotionally travel to Central Africa. Gino Sitson, a talented vocalist with a four-octave capability, hails from Cameroon, Central Africa. His unique treatment and stroking of notes lifts one to another level of listening appreciation. The cadence, the melodies, the temperature of these tunes are quite worthy of your time.
Sitson is also quite active beyond providing sterling vocals. He is part of the ongoing "Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series" and leads professional and amateur vocal workshops for adults and children. He is a member of Chamber Music America, is regularly engaged for movie scores and commercials, and has made several TV appearances and composed music for the noted Nickelodeon children’s TV show, "Dora The Explorer." He has also received nominations from the WMCE (World Music Chart Europe) and the RFI Awards. Further, his bio states that he is the only vocalist who incorporates "African polyphonic techniques into the improvisational jazz vocalese tradition. Through his vocal wizardry and 4 octaves, he stunningly creates an endless range of sounds. .... His lyrics are mostly sung in Medumba, one of the numerous Bamileke languages of Cameroon." Such is the case on Bamisphere. Such an exotic blend is a true aural caress. Witness the diverse structure, melodies, rhythms, and phrasings on such pieces as "Wailin’," "A Leuda Wou," and the title track just for starters.
Sitson has a truly atypical gem here in Bamisphere. One can see why this artist would receive the international attention he has directed his way