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Michael Olatuja

Speak, the title of bassist Michael Olatuja’s debut album, holds deep personal meaning for its creator, exemplifying in a single word the album’s underlying themes of hope, encouragement, inspiration and positivity. The album, which will be released on July 28 on Backdrop, ObliqSound’s sub-label focusing on modern electronic and groove-based music, tells the story of the British/Nigerian artist’s musical and personal journey. “The language of music is one that we all speak,” Olatuja explains. “It unites diverse cultures.”

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CD/LP/Track Review
  • Speak by Eugene Holley, Jr.
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“A virtuoso jazz bassist whose hybridised work draws extensively on West African music”- BBC

“Bassist Michael Olatuja simply delivered a well-honed message; its project was a perpetual thing,a way of being” – New York Times

“A singular voice that taps all the cultures from which it is born.” - BBC

“His bass sound and distinct sense of time are always consistent, and are always the propelling force of the music.” – JazzInside Magazine

“Olatuja's supple, acoustic and electric bass lines that can trace their low-end ancestry to Ron Carter and Jaco Pastorius.” - All About Jazz

“Groove is something you either have or you don’t, and if groove were water, you’d have to go to Michael Olatuja’s concerts with scuba gear.” -Jazz Inside NY

“What a curious cocktail of African music, jazz, soul, and gospel Michael Olatuja has cooked up on Speak...

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