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Gemini Soul

The Nefertiti Xperience

by Gemini Soul feat. Ajamu Akinyele

Released 2008
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
Released 2008
Pearl Jazz Recording Label
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."
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.

About

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer André Akinyele has recorded under the names Marcel and Ajamu Akinyele, exploring multiple music genres. He is the bandleader and bassist of the jazz/funk fusion band Gemini Soul, the vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Looking for Lester, as well as the vocalist and keyboardist for the electronic synth-pop duo Lavender Lush. He is also the co-author of the book Elliptical: The Music of Meshell Ndegeocello.

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