Ajo Se Po is the third album by alto-saxophonist and percussionist Kevin Haynes, released with his band Grupo Elegua. The album integrates musical elements with references to his deepening spiritual understanding. Haynes has created a modal harmonic language incorporating Afro-Cuban melodies and classical kora playing – his alto-sax, infusing the album with a personal ‘voice’.
Yoruba spirituality is at the heart of Haynes’ musical thinking which also includes both Nigerian and Cuban dimensions. This is especially reflected by the use of recitation and Cuban bata drumming being employed on all tracks, with each piece growing out of a particular bata rhythm. Each such rhythm is dedicated to a particular Orisha, or divinity.
As well as influences from Afro-Cuban, Native Nigerian and folkloric Bata, Haynes’ music is a fusion of contemporary jazz incorporating Mandinga folk and praise songs and hard bop.
Kevin Haynes and Grupo Elegua have performed at renowned jazz festivals including Havana Jazz Festival, Cuba and Salamanca Jazz Festival, Spain. Haynes has also featured on Moses Boyd’s hit album Displaced Diaspora.
Writing credits compositions and lyrics written by Kevin
Kevin Haynes – Saxophone Bata drums and Lead vocals
Ronald Thomas – Bata drums backing vocals
Bill Bland – Bata drums backing vocals
Jonathan Idiagbona – Piano
Diabel Cissohko – Kora vocals
Neville Malcolm – Double Bass
Shane Forbes – Drum kit
Lanre Olafia Olemuyiwa – Narration vocals
Illam Jalal – Backing vocals
Paula Allen – Backing vocals
Recorded at: Intimate Recording studios
120 Pennington Street London E1W2BB
Mixed by: Paul Madden
Mastered by: Gwyn Mathias