This spectacular album was nominated for two UGI awards and twelve Marlin awards. At the Marlins (Nassau, Bahamas) Avion created an upset taking home the top honor of ALBUM OF THE YEAR! -------------------------------------------------------- From the band Christafari comes Avion Blackman with a sound described as Sade meets Norah Jones with world music undertones. Acoustic guitar in hand, she ventures on a musical journey to glorify Jesus Christ through song. With stunning lyrical and vocal sincerity, Avion brings forth an emotional album steeped in ethnic textures pleasing to the ears and satisfying to the soul. The subtle world music influences from this native Trinidadian add spice to this uniquely flavored album. Her vocals caress a captivating blend of Folk, Jazz, Reggae, African, Indian, Soca, R&B, Jamoo and Jungle to craft a meditative musical masterpiece. Avion's songs are stripped back to their essential elements (voice, melody, and meticulously arranged instrumentation); resonating in the heart and in the head long after the last note has fallen silent. This intimate recording was produced by Mark Mohr of Christafari (won Producer of the Year at the 2004 UGI Awards), and co-produced by Solomon Jabby and Avion Blackman. =============================== This is what other reviewers are saying: AVION BLACKMAN REVIEW BY THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH Avion Blackman, "Onyinye" Do you remember that special feeling inside that you experienced the first time you realized you were attracted to that special guy or girl? Avion Blackman's "I Love You Father" from her album "Onyinye" sweeps you off your feet in much the same way. It is a special song that is easy to get caught up in and comes from the lips of a fresh young artist who promises to get even better. The press releases compare Blackman to Norah Jones and Sade however she is much closer to the later than the former. Even on this debut CD you see more vocal versatility than is often the case with Jones. The CD subtly fuses strong jazz overtones, world music and reggae with simple, yet thoughtful lyrics and a soulful voice. Producer Mark Mohr (Blackman's husband) weaves a tapestry of flutes, electric and acoustic guitars, percussion, saxophone, keys, piano, mandolin, violin, cello, synthesizer and the list just goes on into unbelievable tunes. As the instruments meld into a kaleidoscope of gentle whispering tunes you allow yourself to become enveloped in their relaxing ambience. In the Igbo language "Onyinye" means gift, with songs like the aforementioned "I Love You Father", the title track "Onyinye", "Blue" and "You'll Return", this CD is a gift not only to the Christian music scene but to the entire music world. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the album bears sonic reminders of Blackman's roots, after all she grew up as the daughter of Lord Shorty (Ras Shorty I), credited for founding Soca and Jamoo music, and spent much of her adolescence deep in the jungles of Trinidad. "Onyinye" is dedicated to the memory of April Blackman, Avion's older sister who passed away at the age of twenty. Four of the songs from the CD were penned by April, including the beautiful prayerful "Show Me" with lyrics that petition the almighty to mould us into a vessel worthy of bearing his name. Avion Blackman appears as the bassist on her own album and Mohr guests as a background vocalist. North America first got a good look at Blackman as the bass player and lead vocalist with Mohr's band Christafari and really grabbed listeners with her vocals on "Hiding Place" and "My Sustenance" from the group's CD "Gravity". I particularly liked the lyrics of the second track "Onyinye" which is a curious mix of Island tempos and pop beats. "You have the freedom Freedom of expression So use this freedom To express your love" If you enjoy reggae music you will love the fourth track, "I Thank You Lord," penned by Mohr and sung by Blackman. The song also highlights the effortless vocal ability of Blackman. I am sure she worked hard to complete this project with Lion of Zion Entertainment but through much of this album you get the impression she barely broke a sweat while infusing life to these lyrics. The most creative song on "Onyinye" is "Blue" combining great jazz, soulful vocals--that would have rivaled Diana Ross and Anita Baker at their peak, with techno overtones and David Fohe's incredible voice providing some cool vocal support. Ladies you will want to listen to this song just for his voice. If you only have even money to buy one CD over the next month make it this one, you won't be disappointed. Review by Joe Montague for: http://www.tollbooth.org/2005/reviews/ony.html================================ AVION BLACKMAN REVIEW BY AL MENCONI MINISTRIES Avion Blackman Mohr is the bassist for Christafari, and the wife of bandleader Mark Mohr. Her solo debut is called Onyinye, Nigerian for "gift." It's a mellow, smooth-sounding album that makes me want to listen to it on some Caribbean beach where I could relax, away from computers and cell phones, with no sounds but the surf and Avion's effortless vocals. She plays bass and acoustic guitar on the project and is joined by other members of Christafari and studio musicians in creating this blend of folk and Caribbean sounds. The CD is dedicated to Avion's sister April, who passed away at 20 years old. April penned four of the songs Avion recorded on Onyinye. Six of the songs were written by Avion and/or Mark, and two others are by Avion's brother Isaac. The remaining song, You'll Return, was written by Avion's father Garfield, better known as Lord Shorty, the calypso legend who developed soca music in the 70s and Jamoo music (a gospel/reggae mix) in the 80s, and who died at a relatively young age in 2000. Onyinye is an unabashedly Christian album, and although it doesn't fit the "worship genre," many of the songs are prayers and worshipful. The back of the CD case describes Avion's sound as "Sade meets Norah Jones with world music undertones." Who am I to argue? This is a smooth, relaxing CD with an eternal message. Review by Randy Brandt for: http://www.almenconi.com
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