Alune Wade’s versatile and deep-rooted touch on the bass has made him a sparkplug for the new vigor on the contemporary African jazz scene. The Senegalese bass player, composer and singer began his professional career as guitarist to the great Ismael Lo and also has played alongside other big names like Youssou Ndour, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Oumou Sangare, Blick Bassy and Joe Zawinul. Growing up, he was surrounded by music – everything from Malian folk to the classics – and during his formative years as a musician, he favored the bass playing of Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke.
The jazz-inspired African Fast Food is his latest, and third, solo recording project: a huge canvas featuring a wonderful mélange of styles. It pays tribute to both Miles Davis and Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba (a revered religious leader of the Mourid Brotherhood) and, through music, brings together Africa and all other continents.
Alune is now mostly based in Paris, France, but enjoys more contact with African musicians here than he would back in Dakar. In support of his ongoing Homes United Project and the first-ever online edition of International Jazz Day, Wade recently organized an incredible virtual performance of Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man” with musicians from around the world.