STYLE: RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 155037-BOK760 LABEL: FORMAT: Digital Only General book
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Evan is a French Portuguese Tongan New Zealander who's been singing soul and jazz in his homeland and Australia for decades. He is also a minister of the Gospel and although he's all but unknown in Europe, he is a well-known figure in NZ and has made many appearances on mainstream TV and received accolades for more than one of his albums. Under The Afro is an account of his life. On the whole I would recommend it to those who've heard Evan's soulful music and want to know more about the man and certainly the early chapters of this privately produced ebook colourfully document the first few decades of the man's life, from a poor but respectable nominally Catholic childhood; his teenage years and his embracing of sex and violence gang culture; and his many years on the New Zealand and Australian club scene singing covers of American soul hits. Strange to say that as he gets to the music-making side of his life, the account gets duller and duller. There are long lists scattered throughout the following chapters of bands and musicians with whom Evan performed with or saw in his clubland years. Only the staunchest of New Zealand music buffs would find these lists interesting particularly as in most cases they are just name-checked (and there is no index). Other problems with Under The Afro are that there is little detail about the recordings Evan has made; the writing style is a little stilted; and strangest of all, there is far more about his pre-conversion days than the years since. Still, as stated already, this is an interesting read if you know Evan's music or if you want some overview of the vibrant music underground of New Zealand and Australia.
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