Gemini Soul feat. Ajamu Akinyele | The Nefertiti Xperience

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The Nefertiti Xperience

by Gemini Soul feat. Ajamu Akinyele

Inspired by the bass funk of Meshell Ndegeocello and the jazz fusion of Herbie Hancock, this album captures the true essence of Gemini Soul’s "Cyber Jazz."
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sun Goddess
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
7:30 $0.99
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2. River Nile
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:31 $0.99
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3. Radical
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:41 $0.99
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4. Nefertiti's Theme
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
2:54 $0.99
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5. Nefertiti Xperience
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:19 $0.99
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6. Chance to Grow
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:41 $0.99
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7. The Eye of Horus
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
7:31 $0.99
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8. Black Venus
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
3:36 $0.99
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9. Serpent's Tongue
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:52 $0.99
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10. Vertigo
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
5:05 $0.99
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11. Oliver Jones
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
4:41 $0.99
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12. Compared to What?
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
7:02 $0.99
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13. Sphinx
Gemini Soul and Ajamu Akinyele
4:57 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Gemini Soul's music isn't your typical jazz; it's Cyber Jazz! The Sun Goddess, Queen Nefertiti of ancient Egypt, is the concept of Gemini Soul's fourth album ‘The Nefertiti Xperience.’ Musically influenced by Herbie Hancock's critically acclaimed jazz/fusion album ‘Head Hunters’ and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, who continues to be Gemini Soul's muse, ‘The Nefertiti Xperience’ features two cover tunes "Chance To Grow" written by Wendy & Lisa of Prince and The Revolution and "Compared To What?" written by Gene McDaniel, but resembles Meshell Ndegeocello's version from the 2007 Motion Picture Soundtrack "Talk To Me." The selections that are covers, Gemini Soul added their Cyber Jazz twist giving the songs a pulse (a beat and rhythm to dance). The opening track "Sun Goddess" is heavily influenced by Hancock's "Chameleon," with its heavy clavichord funk and driving bass, guaranteed to make you dance. The song “Oliver Jones” was written in dedication to Ajamu Akinyele’s grandfather of the same name. “Black Venus” is a universal nod to love.

The album was promoted with the singles “Sun Goddess”, “Radical”, “Nefertiti Xperience”, “Black Venus”, “Vertigo”, and “Sphinx”.

Gemini Soul's unique sound "Cyber Jazz," a blend of jazz/funk fusion with an electronic element, continues to redefine jazz for a new generation.

Production Notes: Produced, arranged, and composed by Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele; except where indicated. Performed by Gemini Soul. Andre Ajamu Akinyele – fender bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion, and programming; Jon O’Bergh – fender rhodes, keyboards, piano, and programming; Andrew Foster – percussion; Alex Marks – drums. Recorded at The Sand Castle; Sea Ranch, CA (December 16th –18th, 2007). Mixed at The Mallory Gallery; San Francisco, CA (December 20th-24th, 2007).

Who is Gemini Soul?

Gemini Soul (Andrè Ajamu Akinyele – bass, guitar, piano, keyboards & drum programming; Jon O'Bergh – piano, keyboards & programming; Andrew Foster – percussion; and Alex Marks - drums), originating from the San Francisco bay area, are known for their eclectic blend of smooth jazz/funk fusion with an electronic element known as "Cyber Jazz."

Producer, bassist, and multi-instrumentalist Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele, pronounced Ah-jah-moo + Ah-kin-yay-lay, recorded as Marcel releasing five R&B/Funk albums from 1998 to 2004. He's had worldwide success with those releases, including in Europe, Japan, and Australia. As Ajamu Akinyele, he released ‘Supernova’ (2005) and the critically acclaimed ‘Black Magic The Cyber Jazz Experience’ (2006), both Jazz/Funk/Fusion albums, that established him as a true contender in the jazz industry.

Jon Carl O'Bergh has written and produced several albums including ‘Carta’ reaching #1 nationwide on the NAV chart; ‘Meditations from a Lost World’ which reached #3; and ‘Millennial Landscapes’ which reached #2. He also co-produced songs with Marcel, now known as Ajamu Akinyele, on his 2003 release ‘Uptown : 2025 A.D.’ and for R&B recording artist Jarrod on his debut album ‘Every Part of Me’.

Andrew Foster grew up in the early seventies listening to many styles of jazz including Brazilian and traditional, which inspired him to become a percussionist. He met with producer/bassist Ajamu Akinyele one evening after a Gemini Soul show and the rest is history. Andrew recalls during the first jam session, “It was like magic playing with Ajamu and Jon…it just came naturally.”

Alex Marks is influenced by drummer David Silveria from the rock band Korn, and the drummer John Bonham from the 70's rock band Led - Zeppelin. So, why jazz? His first drum teacher suggested that he listen and learn from the music and styling of Miles Davis, Tower of Power and John Coltrane. Also, his music teacher wanted to encourage him to play different styles of music, making him a well-rounded musician. He loves funk, fusion and Latin jazz. By joining Gemini Soul, he brings his influences of rock and funk/fusion, enhancing Gemini Soul's Cyber Jazz experience.

Gemini Soul’s sound “Cyber Jazz” is a blend of jazz/funk fusion and reflects the influences of bassists Meshell Ndegeocello and Stanley Clarke, the smooth sounds of Sade, the funk fusion of jazz legend Herbie Hancock, and the pop funk jazz fusion of Miles Davis.

Gemini Soul has been featured on the morning television show Sacramento & Co. (ABC affiliate KXTV) and various radio shows throughout the country. Their music has been featured on the hit television shows Girlfriends, The Tony Danza Show, and Entertainment Tonight. They had the privilege of opening for Pete Escovedo at the 2007 San Jose Juneteenth Festival. Pete Escovedo said, "Ajamu is one FUNKY bass player!"

Gemini Soul have performed in some of the country's most prestigious jazz and club venues such as Catalina Jazz Club, Hollywood, CA; The Knitting Factory; Hollywood, CA; The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA; The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ; Kuumbwa Jazz, Santa Cruz, CA; and many others.

Gemini Soul was a "Featured Artist" in the September/October 2007 issue of Abyss Jazz Magazine, one of the jazz industry's premiere magazines.

Gemini Soul's discography has been recognized and added to Billboard and VH1, which is a huge accomplishment being independent artists.

As Gemini Soul, their entire catalog from 2005–2015 can be purchased right here at CD Baby, so look for the following titles:

A Cyber Jazz Holiday "2005"

Liquid Soul "2007"

Live : The Liquid Soul Tour “2007”

The Nefertiti Xperience “2008”

Dark Skin Babies : The Movement “2009”

Willona’s Boutique “2015” (Their last recording as Gemini Soul)

Fun Facts:

Ajamu Akinyele has recorded under numerous names including Michael Angelo (in 1989 releasing a single titled "Brina Brown" in Europe) and Marcel as an R&B/Funk artist. His last recording under the moniker Marcel was 2004's 'Secret Weapon Volumes 1 & 2.' He was also the bandleader of the jazz/funk/fusion band Gemini Soul. He now records as Andre Akinyele.

He changed his birth name on his 32nd birthday, June 21, 2004, from ‘Andre Marcel Wilson’ to ‘Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele’ to reflect a more African heritage. Also, in changing his name, he wanted to depart from the Prince influenced sound to a more self-defined sound to honor his grandmother. Thus, “Cyber Jazz” and the Pearl Jazz Recording Label was born. After the release of the ‘Secret Weapon’ album, he formed the jazz/funk/fusion band Gemini Soul and began recording as Ajamu Akinyele. He would not return to the Prince influenced sound until the release of his 2012 album ‘The Potomac Syndrome’ as Andre Akinyele.

As Andre Akinyele, he has developed other ventures, including his Orange River enterprise that consists of a record label, book publishing company, and film studio. He produced albums for Jon O’Bergh. He is the bandleader, guitarist, bassist, and lead singer of the rock group Looking for Lester, working under the pseudonym Rebellion and producing the album under the name Messiah Superstar. He is also the lead singer, drum programmer, and keyboardist for the electronic synth-pop duo Lavender Lush, also working under the pseudonym Chambliss Charlie. He co-authored the book ‘Elliptical: The Music of Meshell Ndegeocello.’ Aside from music, he is also the owner of Akinyele Design Firm, which focuses on graphic design and visual arts. Also, he is the owner of Ajamu, a gaming and software development company. He authored the tech book ‘So, What’s the Big Deal About Scrum? A Methodology Handbook for Developers.’ In addition to holding an Associate's of Arts degree in Music Technology and a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies, he also holds a Master's degree in Information Technology (IT): Software Engineering.

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Reviews


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The Urban Music Scene

Gemini Soul has Struck Gold with This Gem!
Within the last year or two, the name Gemini Soul kept resurfacing in my travels around the Internet. Moreover, as usual my appetite for fresh music kept redirecting my path like a boomerang back to this group. At this point, it was inevitable as I was drawn to the title of their new recording "The Nefertiti Xperience."...to my surprise just recently "The Nefertiti Xperience" arrived in my mailbox. As always, much like a kid in the toy store with new music in hand, I couldn't wait to take this jewel for the first spin. As I pushed the play button on the disc player the music instantly took flight, I found myself engrossed in "Sun Goddess" the opening track. As leader and multi-faceted virtuoso Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele and his band accurately executes with grace a host of impressive chops and interplay by this quartet; it contains lots of bonafide soulful music and is filled with passion called "Cyber Jazz."...Gemini Soul based out of San Francisco steps out by unleashing a serious attitude with lots of raw and augmented grooves that's pleasing even to the most discriminating music lover. With each note, beat, and sonic groove Gemini Soul serves up a delectable dish of slowly brewed jams like the infectious "River Nile." It's shaken, tweaked, and well stirred as keyboardist Jon O'Bergh works the Rhodes as he takes you on a satisfying groovescape. Andre Ajamu Akinyele's compositional style is comprised of adventurous funk tones wrapped with interesting harmonics, flexible shapes and unadulterated melodic phrasings that exceeds most in this genre. Yes, the music of Gemini Soul is reason to celebrate its contagious funk-fueled seventies fusion vibe; even if it isn't your typical dose of contemporary jazz however, it's a refreshing palette of tasty music with plenty of substance. Get this, there are a dozen enjoyable tracks in store for you on "The Nefertiti Xperience." Fortunately, it's projects like this that demonstrates to indie artists that there's hope in the future for recording music they love as it appears Gemini Soul has struck gold with this gem, which takes you on an enterprising journey into "Cyber Jazz." ~ J. Desmond (The Urban Music Scene - April 2008)
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JazzReview

A New Wave of Jazz Music for Audiences to Experience!
Smooth cyber jazz quartet Gemini Soul has released their fourth studio album The Nefertiti Xperience. Produced, arranged and composed by the band's frontman and bass guitarist Andre Ajamu Akinyele, the album is what Akinyele describes as cyber-jazz, creating a blend of jazz/funk fusion fringed by electronic elements. Those electronic elements form squiggly lines in tracks like "Serpent's Tongue" and "Oliver Jones" which bare a resemblance to Herbie Hancock's "Ingenuity." In the case of Gemini Soul, the concepts are inspired by the Sun Goddess, Queen Nefertiti and show influences of Hancock's fusion album "Head Hunters," the music of vocalist/bassist MeShell Ndegeocello, singer Sade, trumpeter/composer Miles Davis and bassists Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. Though Gemini Soul pride themselves on their funk-jazz fusion sound, their silky smooth jazz lines cannot be overlooked. Tracks like "Compared To What" and "Sphinx" weave silky webs of lounging jazz textures with the curling motions of keyboardist Jon O'Bergh fortified by the gentle pivots of bassist Andre Ajamu Akinyele and the lamina threads of percussionist Andrew Foster and drummer Alex Marks. The music wraps the listener in beautifully beaded tones and synchronized movements that glide in blissful decibels. The serenity of Gemini Soul's music produces muffled amalgams that move to a rhythmic Nubian-like dance displaying freedom and grace like in "Sun Goddess." The cool rhythmic slides of "River Nile" and "The Eye Of Horus" demonstrate the band's ability to keep the music tranquil while supplementing it with delicate sprigs and nuances that beautify the piece. Smooth buttery lines stream through "Nefertiti's Theme," the title track and "Vertigo" which provide a cozy nightclub atmospheric, while the curvy bass grooves of "Chance To Grow" make its lower registers swell with elegant pronouncing. The keyboard driven "Radical" is a vast release of energy and dynamic spreads and the cool jazz struts of "Black Venus" keep the mix feeling heady. As always, San Francisco's Gemini Soul has music that is modern-eclectic smooth jazz funk. Their latest release The Nefertiti Xperience produces comfortable instrument harmonies beaded by electronic improvisations. Their movements show traditional sensibilities and forward-thinking artistry. Their music defines a burgeoning group of jazz musicians who haven't reached their peak but are enjoying their ascent. With influences of smooth jazz, funk, and electronic factions, the culmination is a new wave of jazz music for audiences to experience. ~ Susan Frances (www.jazzreview.com - April 2008)
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Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times

Rave Reviews!
Gemini Soul has been drawing rave reviews for its mix of jazz and funk, which should appeal to those who admire Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. ~ Jim Harrington (Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times/The Concert Blog - January 2008)
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East Bay Express

Smooth, Groovy Fusion!
Jazz doesn't get much funkier, or perhaps it's the other way around. Gemini Soul's smooth, groovy fusion (they call it Cyber Jazz) rests on the poppin' fingers of bandleader and bass-master Andre Ajamu Akinyele. ~ Nate Seltenrich (East Bay Express/Local Licks - February 2008)
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Sabrina Jones

This Is Some of Your Best Work!
Just like other music genres have their own category, Cyber Jazz will soon be a category of its own because the music is universal and celebrates all styles of jazz. Listen, if you haven't experienced Cyber Jazz...Gemini Soul's latest CD "The Nefertiti Xperience" is the CD for you! Gemini Soul's other CD's are great, but this one stands out with tracks like "Radical," "The Eye of Horus," "Black Venus," "Serpent's Tongue," "Oliver Jones," "Compared To What," and "Sphinx"...this CD is complete. It hasn't left my CD player since I received it. Cyber Jazz is the future yall! ~ Sabrina Jones (Music Critic)
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Listen & Be Heard Weekly

Gemini Soul's New Recording is A Winner!
Gemini Soul has put together a winner with this new recording. Rooted in the funk and fusion of the 1970s, "The Nefertiti Xperience" contains thirteen compositions, all but two by bassist and bandleader Andre Ajamu Akinyele. Ajamu Akinyele is joined by Andrew Foster on percussion, Alex Marks on drums, and Jon O'Bergh on keyboards. And when I say "joined," I mean that this band is playing, thinking, and listening as one unit. The quieter passages, like O'Bergh's piano solo in "Nefertiti's Theme," are every bit as intense and solid as the backbeat of "Sun Goddess," with its basslines alternating between popping and some notes that sound like they were dripping out of the amplifier, like ice cream melting in the sun. There is a definite sonic connection with Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" period, not in terms of synthesizer sounds and techniques but in the band's above-mentioned approach to its music. Listen again to "Headhunters" and you will hear one TIGHT band. Akinyele, Foster, Marks, and O'Bergh seem to have learned one thing about the first wave of fusion groups, particularly Return to Forever, Weather Report, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra: sustained focus on chops gets old fast. Gemini Soul relies on its compositions for
"The Nefertiti Xperience," ones refreshingly noodle-free with a lot of room for musical exploration during a live setting. I would expect extended soloing from all four members at gigs. And LOTS of funk. ~ Dave Tilton (Listen & Be Heard Weekly; March 2008, Volume 5 - Issue 11)
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The Rosebud Agency

Strong Sounding & Solid Grooves!
There are some strong sounding tracks and solid grooves on the album. The group sounds like they have a natural feel for each other and a history of playing together at the same time. ~ Drew Palmer (The Rosebud Agency - May 2008)
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Kevin Wiggins

Wonderful Bay Area Jazz!
I constantly listen, and turn friends onto a wonderful Bay Area jazz quartet named Gemini Soul feat. Ajamu Akinyele. I first heard them at a Women's Cancer Fundraiser in Berkeley and purchased their two CD's immediately! "The Nefertiti Xperience," their 4th CD doesn't disappoint either...Really good "grown-up" music featuring orignial songs and great covers of established artists. They are really good performance artists also. Ajamu's energy is totally infectious! ~ Kevin Wiggins (American College of Sports Medicine - July 2008)
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The Tempest Newspaper

Cyber Jazz Album Exudes Mystic Allure!
Cyber Jazz album exudes mystic allure...Gemini Soul have dropped their latest innovation this year, "The Nefertiti Xperience," to etch their own name upon the same canon. Led by bassist Andre Marcel Ajamu Akinyele, the group enthusiastically endorses their brand as "Cyber Jazz," which reveals their intentions to groove their way into the future, not to be confused with a novel throwback act to the progenitors of the 70's. Gemini Soul acknowledges the debt they owe to Herbie Hancock's landmark "Head Hunters" in press releases, which remains a staple to jazz-funk fusioners everywhere. It's a prominent influence which lends Gemini Soul the groundwork, if not the direction of the sonic rhythms of "Nefertiti." That's not to say that the album won't take you to places you've never been, as the disc will hook you from the opener of "Sun Goddess" and will certainly cause you all sorts of mystical lunar revelations. While they are not quite Hancock and they are not quite Coltrane, Ajamu Akinyele's group can certainly hold their own. It's hard not to think that "The Nefertiti Xperience" isn't also some sort of homage to the eccentric avant-garde composer Sun Ra, whose "Ark-estra" blazed the way for exploration of solar and Egyptian themes as far back as the 50's. But that Gemini Soul is operating on a whole different level is evident, and the easily transcendent "Cyber Jazz" they champion is thread worthy of mental departure, for the listener as well as the explorers of the genre. ~ Nate Johnson (The Tempest Newspaper / Solano Community College - May 2008)
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