Gerald Cleaver – Griots (Meakusma, LP/digital)

Gerald Cleaver may be best known as a jazz drummer and composer, but he has always been a versatile jack-of-all-trades. The album Griots is his second electronically produced work and is released on the Belgian label Meakusma. Musically, he does not deal with the tradition of West African singers and storytellers, but rather with the sounds of his native Detroit. These feverish, beat-driven instrumental compositions, sometimes bordering on techno, are nonetheless all about lore, tradition and the communities that are being constructed through them.