Alain Dodji Apaloo comes from Togo, but in recent years he has been synonymous with the Copenhagen blues venue, Mojo, which has served as a laboratory for the man who came to Denmark to study at the Rhythmic Conservatory and is described everywhere as a sparkling talent.
However, Alain Apaloo plays a lot more than blues – which large audiences have discovered at his many African Nights at Mojo. As this debut amply documents, his talent knows no limitations.
The multitalented 33-year old impresses with a joyous compound of West African big city music and modern jazz, Afro-pop, and much more. In his compositions and interpretations of traditional songs, African grooves meet advanced harmonies and natural melodic lines.
Alain Apaloo is not only a fantastic soloist and original vocalist; as a bandleader he has a wonderful feel for the collective effort, creating an organic unit capable of filling any dance floor.
The hip American now-jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel is a featured guest. The album was recorded in Copenhagen and mixed by Dominique Sablier in his famous Paris studios, where all the great African artists work. Finally, it was mastered by Lasse Nilson in his Nilento Studio in Gothenburg. So this is truly an international product, made by a musician who is destined to go far.
Alain Apaloo was born in Lomé, the capitol of the small country of Togo bordering on Benin, not far from the area from which Anjelique Kidjo hails. He was introduced to music at the age of five. His grandmother sang in a catholic choir, and young Alain did the same. He received his first guitar lesson at eleven after having heard Jimi Hendrix on television. His initial inspirations included music from the close-by Ghana and Ivory Coast, but the budding musician also listened to rock and pop – he mentions Michael Jackson – on the radio. At an early age, Alain began play- ing in numerous bands, among them one with the Togolese blues- rock vocalist Jimi Hope. He was considered a young man with an exceptional gift. At 21 he travelled to Ghana, where he met the country’s number one Afro-pop singer Kojo Antwi and wound up touring Europe, Africa, USA and Canada with his band, before settling in Denmark in 1999. He soon established himself equally on the world music and jazz scenes as a sideman (also on bass) and with his own bands, but his reputation has travelled beyond the Danish border, hence his collaboration with American guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Alain sees no problem in addressing both jazz and blues audiences. Alain Apaloo’s Apipipo is a gigantic eye-opener to what’s happe- ning on the Danish music scene. The music is openminded and without limitations.