New Album "Melodic Faces"

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Digital Album Out NOW!

Melodic Faces

Mboya Nicholson

This recording represents tributaries. I was raised on that whole continuum way of thinking; coming out of something and adding a difference of perspective, but ultimately, contributing to a perpetual whole.

Indeed, for all the songs, the idea of a continuum is the inspiration. Honoring the ancestors is how I want these songs to resonate.
This recording represents tributaries. I was raised on that whole continuum way of thinking; coming out of something and adding a difference of perspective, but ultimately, contributing to a perpetual whole.

Indeed, for all the songs, the idea of a continuum is the inspiration. Honoring the ancestors is how I want these songs to resonate. Hopefully the music resonates with you enough to keep playing it. And if I am lucky, one of the melodies will find itself lodged in your memory.

While going through my compositions deciding what to put on the recording, I kept thinking about the way the blues runs through so many things; and how that philosophy of the blues was present before the music was called that. Long before. One might say the first inkling of a blues-minded thinker was Elegba, the spirit known as the trickster. I was aware of the trickster in other forms, like childhood stories from Jamaican folklore connected to African folklore - Anansi stories. And of course, we were aware of Anansi's rural Southern U.S. cousin, Bre'r Rabbit, too. (Come to think of it, I was never quite sure why I never saw Anansi, Br'er Rabbit or Elegba in the exact same place, at the exact same time...hmmm. Such is the way of a trickster). Yes, the trickster could be called the ancestor of the blues master. The blues master knows how to play to keep Blues away. And those whom we revere - those real blues masters - are so skilled, they are so good at keeping Blues away, that Blues is tricked into believing that leaving you alone was its own brilliant idea.

But the trickster is not for show. The means are to an end, and the end is well-being; safety; sustenance; whatever pertains to survival. In our diaspora's history, the trickster's strategy meant enslaved people escaped; stayed hidden; stayed alive.


You have to make Blues believe leaving you alone was an idea it came up with.

Of course, this is all temporary. And Blues shakes itself back into awareness, laughing at being duped by one of the many variations on Elegba's tricks. So Elegba keeps moving. (Why'd ya think Elizabeth Cotton sang "please don't tell what train I'm on"?)


AND MOUNTAINS BOW, depicts ancestors who seemed to make the mountains bow. And in another song, there is the depiction of Oshun, from the Yoruba tradition, a deity associated with water, and thought of as just as encompassing and powerful as the vastness of the blue itself. She is also associated with birth as well. In fact another composition I was including on the album reminded me of her. so, I renamed it OSHUN.

MELODIC FACES. is about the fact that each person comes with an internal melody particular to them.

PONTCHARTRAIN BLUES is a love letter to New Orleans, where I lived for 7 years. It's a blues that dances, because what better way, to keep Blues away by playing the blues than making the rhythm dance?

TRAIN WHISTLE ties in many things, from Elegba keeping us safe through necessary smoke and mirrors, leading to the Underground Railroad. And generations later, actual trains, taking Blacks in the United States, north during the Great Migration.

Generally, the album can be summed up by the first tune - ANCESTOR'S VIEW: a simultaneous look down the road, and a recognition that what is coming, already as been, and that only real change is contextual.
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