By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
The Constant Boty Group on Wednesday delivered an eclectic jumble of rhythms and sounds that easily reflected it’s brilliance during a virtual performance at the Goethe-Institut in Accra.
Led by guitar magician Constant Boty alongside Nii Keyz (keyboard), Eugene Lomo (bass) and Nana Ofori (drums), the quartet presented an exuberant mix of tunes that were inspired by African folk tunes, jazz and world music.
With compositions from a debut album titled “Guru Guru” and an upcoming one titled “Shine On”, which will be dedicated to the late UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the group churned out a dramatic blend of originals, standards and scintillating improvisations.
With tunes such as “Venus In Gemini”, “Mali”, “Coup De Foudre”, “My People” and “Guru Guru” – all composed by Boty – and “My Favorite Things”, a composition by Richard Rodgers, which was popularized by the saxophone legend John Coltrane, the musicians delivered well crafted, catchy and infectious tunes.
A respected guitarist, Boty turned the stage into a tsunami of energy as the group’s manipulation of texture and rhythmic cycles revealed their capabilities – in the process, surprising bass-lines and heavy hammered keyboard chords filled the air of the auditorium.
Boty is a member of the Jazz Education Network and is an enthusiastic and experienced music educator. He taught guitar and West African music at the German Swiss International School in Accra and conducts music workshops in jazz, world music and West African folkloric music in Europe, United States and other parts of Africa.
“Shine On”, which is scheduled to be released in 2021, featured a bevy of musicians from around the globe including bass clarinetist Oran Etkin, pianist Benito Gonzalez, master bassist Lonnie Plaxico, vocalist Heather Maxwell, saxophonist Kris Allen, drummers Daniel Freedman, Francisco Mela, Daniel Prim and Luiz Santos.
The performance was sponsored by Goethe-Institut Ghana.