Über Gecko Turner
The word on the street is that Gecko Turner was deeply influenced by Afrobeat great Fela Kuti -- and we can hear that -- but if he conjures anybody, it's the young Jorge Ben, whose jazzy, playful, Afro-Brazilian-influenced pop of the 1960s helped redefine Brazilian popular music. Turner may be in the process of doing the same for Spanish music, and in doing so, he brings to mind another great Spanish innovator: Manu Chao. But Turner's in less of a manic rush than Chao: his seamless integration of reggae, soul, Afrobeat and bossa nova lopes along, lounge-y and intelligent, but never hurried. It's no surprise that his 2006 debut, Guapapasea, is so assured; Turner's an experienced singer-songwriter who's worked with bands including Perroflauta, los Reverendoes and the Animal Crackers before assembling the loose group that joined him for Guapapasea.