CD review: Tomas Doncker – standing up for what’s right…against all odds!!!

Artist: Tomas Doncker
Title: Power of the Trinity
Label: True Groove Records
Genre: Global Soul/R&B/Soul/touch of Ethiopian music/dub

Preview, buy and download CD here

Review by Dawoud Kringle

I intensely dislike the idea of appending labels to anybody’s music. Genres and other such parameters of (what sooner or later ends up as) marketing demographics are misleading, and perilously close to insulting. However, such is inevitable. Tomas Doncker’s new CD Power of the Trinity must be subject to this.

And I do so with trepidation. I could come up with genres / words such as “Reggae,” “R&B,” “World,” etc. And it would not be inaccurate. However, Power of the Trinity stands entirely on its own merit.

Doncker sings lead vocals, and plays guitar. His band includes Selam Woldermariam (guitar), Booker King (bass), Daniel Sadownick (percussion), Nick Rolfe (keys), and David Barnes (harmonica). And Doncker proves himself as a formidable presence in the music world with the presence of guest appearances by Dr. Israel, Sidney Mills of Steel Pulse, Gigi, Bill Laswell, Tsegaye Selassi, Mahmoud Ahmed, and others.

Each song has a specific vibe. There is nothing formulaic about the writing style. Each song explores a different musical mood. Yet they all fit well together as a collective whole. There is nothing that is out of place. The flow of the songs are brilliantly thought out and executed. The production is excellent. There are no bad or weak songs on this collection; they all hold their own as strong musical statements. After my first listening, I got the feeling that this is one of those CDs you can listen to again and again and continue to find new things within the music. It is simple enough to require little effort to immerse oneself in, and complex enough to carry the weight of truly sublime musical ideas without hitting you over the head with its own musicianship. And the songs all simply feel good!

But the most important thing that Doncker accomplishes here is the invocation of what many diverse subcultures of free and forward thinking people call “consciousness.” There is a sincerity and strong conviction here; the music is not mere entertainment. It is the statement of the spiritual beliefs and philosophical principles of a man, and his community; a community that inevitably extends beyond his nationality or culture.

There is only one thing you can do with Doncker’s CD. Listen to it, and let it speak its own truths to you.