Our second CD is almost ready. It’s title is.
( = Harmony Harbour )
It will feature 11 tracks and will be a continuation of the imaginary voyage that was started with the first CD.
The general symbolism of the album is of a harbour, a place for meetings and homecomings, where cultures live together in harmony.
Several African styles are highlighted :rhythms and musical modes from Burkina Faso, Mali, Rwanda, Congo, and Senegal ; from the other side of the Atlantic ocean, a tango, a reggae, a dreamy very Coltranian track, and a bossa-nova will complete this rich musical palette.
Vocal interventions by several african singers I have worked with in the past will add flavour to many tracks.
There will be an animation by Yannick Koy (and counter animation by Coco Malabar) on the soukous track, mandingo singing by Manssata Sora, some pygmies from the rainforest by Ben Ngabo, Mooré lyrics by Aida Dao on the warba, etc.
Release is scheduled for march 2018.
Distribution for Benelux will be done by Xango Music.
Some excerpts here in pre-release
The teaser contains excerpts from the following titles : Fo Yelame Ti Boin, El Sombrero Del Gato, Umugore W’Ibanga, Soumbedioune, Peace Street.
Fo Yelamé Ti Boin
This burkinabé expression translates literally as “What You say ?”. It is the equivalent of “Hello” or “Good morning”. It is thus an appropriate title for the opening track of the CD. The specific rhythm of the track is based on the “warba” a 6/8 dance from the mossi people.
Aida Dao, a Burkinabe singer and actress adds some animation and singing to this musical salutation.
El Sombrero del Gato
The late Gato Barbieri was one of the pioneers of world jazz. He made several LPs in which he used the folk music from Latin America and blended it with his own jazz approach. This piece is an homage to him and the hat that never left his head.
Is based on a rwandese 3/4 rhythm which is called Intore. The melody, however, has more of an Andine feel which makes for an original fusion (or a mountain song … you choose !).
In the middle part, a pygmy choir (Ben Ngabo and Aida Dao) adds another colour. The title means “The hidden woman” as many compositions are inspired by muse-in-hiding.
This is a 3/4 mbalax-style track. Soumdedioune is a former fishing village that is now a part of Dakar. This track features a haunting theme done on the violin, a guitar solo and a double improvisation (perc + violin in it’s third and final part.
As it is a very exhilarating track (with all this frantic drumming) we generally play it at the end of our shows.
Reggae has become of the global grooves of the planet. However I don’t think it has ever been used in jazz, contrary to many tropical rhythms.
This is our approach which combines the cool Jamaican feeling with a jazzy chord structure. Meet also Benny Lezzar, the raggaman, one of the avatars of our violinist.
Here are longer excerpts … for those who were agreeably tickled by the teaser
Fo Yelamé Ti Boin
El Sombrero Del Gato
Is a humorous tune which jokes about a well known Congolese expression “ Article 15 “ ( = sort it out yourself). Any soukous track must have a vocal animation and this role is held here by Yannick Koy and Coco Malabar.
A slow bossa with the theme played in duet by the double-bass and the violin (in pizz). The title is a brazilianization of the italian word ‘Brontolone’ ( = grumpy) which is our bass-player’s Alessio Campanozzi general approach to life.
This is one of my oldest compo as it dates back to 1982. It is a fine example of how we constantly re-invent our repertoire. The use of the B pedal gives it a very “Coltranian” feel. The great solo by Alessio is a good illustration of the interactions between the members of the band.
is based on a 5/4 rhythm from Rwanda on which I surimposed a fusion melody and chords. This unequal meter gives a very swaying feel to the track. It features alos a djembé solo as well as an arpeggio comping by the violin, as in a post-modern study (including D flat, a challenge !)
The muted string guitar, as well as the chord structure, is typical of the Guinean way of playing the instrument. It aims to imitate a balafon or kora. This style has moved on to Mali, from which this track is most influenced.
This very joyful tune was composed during a period of personal loss, the passing away of my father. It evokes for me both his memory and the triumph of life over death.
is a variation on the traditional Mandingo song ‘Sanou’. The singing only starts late in the track and is a nice contrast to the intricate melodic lines of the beginning. The track then moves on to a more rhythmical part, which is nice for sabar breaks. It features vocals by the senegalese singer Manssata Sora .