West of the World is an 8-piece band African/Jazz band that play music inspired by the rhythms and sounds of West Africa, combined with the melodies and improvisation of jazz. It brings together musicians from 5 different countries with 4 different languages to create a unique blend of innovation and tradition.
The band is the collaboration between Australian bassist/composer Ashley de Neef and traditional West-African band Burkina Azza. After taking a life-changing trip to the small African country of Burkina Faso in 2013, Ashley had the idea for a band that pairs West-African instruments such as the balafon, djembe and kora with jazz instruments like double bass, trumpet and saxophone and the result is music that transcends borders and language barriers. With deep, layered grooves and fiery, intense improvisations, West of the World brings together the rawest elements of both jazz and West-African music in a celebration of music, heritage and friendship.
With musicians from Africa, America, Europe and Australia, West of the World came together for four amazing days in Toulouse, France in July 2016 to rehearse and record their debut self-titled album.
The album captures many different moods of the band, and finds a comfortable balance between the explosive intensity of Burkina Azza, and the thoughtful compositions of Ashley de Neef.
The creation and development of the band has also been documented thoroughly by Ashley de Neef in his world-music blog www.rovingsounds.org
, and details the production of the album from conception to recording, with all the amazing and stressful moments along the way.
The album will be released on Jan 08 2017, and a free pre-release track is available for download at eepurl.com/cvjmVD