Lionel Loueke. Frannie Kelley/NPR
On guitarist Lionel Loueke's newest record, Mwaliko, he and drummer Marcus Gilmore get together to jam on Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti." As a young musician, Loueke was fascinated by Wayne's music — it helped him discover there was such a thing as jazz that he could pursue. His vision for the tune plays fast and loose with the mysterious melody, making a lot with only two people.
In March, the Lionel Loueke trio came to Washington, D.C. to play a one-night gig at Blues Alley. We thought we'd ask Loueke to show off his unique talents for a Tiny Desk Concert — a video session recorded literally in our office. We got a bonus: Ferenc Nemeth, Lionel's regular drummer for 10 years, pulled out a tiny stand of percussion instruments to sit in. And the solo quickly became a duo.
Loueke called "Nefertiti" during the Tiny Desk concert as well. We had to edit it out of the video, but the audio sounds pretty hip. So we offer it to you here:
"Nefertiti," from Lionel Loueke Duo, Tiny Desk Concert. Lionel Loueke, guitar/voice; Ferenc Nemeth, percussion. NPR Music, Washington, D.C.: Mar. 8, 2010.
Video capturing the rest of the performance is here.