"Hiroaki Honshuku jazz combo Racha Fora combines elements of jazz traditions from America, Brazil, and Japan. To say this kind of jazz is different would be an understatement. While Racha Fora has the fluidity, freedom, and discipline of jazz, its mesh of styles and influences on Happy Fire make it cry out to be heard as something new, inventive, and downright fun in a genre that has been under appreciated for far too long." Billy Copeland
GET US OUT OF FEARLAND
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches
New York City’s Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are likely the only band today infusing elements of Gullah-Geechee and world rhythms with folk traditions, New Orleans influences, and 1920s jazz. The forthcoming sophomore album, Get Us Out Of Fearland, due June 15, builds upon the multicultural exuberance that made the band’s debut, Very Next Thing, a transcendent breath of fresh air. Elmore Magazine championed its “remarkable musical dexterity with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition,” and revered tastemaker station WFUV said, “This is a band that must be heard to be believed!”
The third solo album of Colette Michaan, Incarnate/Encarna—the second, since her amazing album Querencia—is a notable achievement on various levels. The team of pianist and arranger Pablo Vergara, the quintessential trombonist Ruet Regev, violinist Mireya Ramos, sensational harmonica player Grégoire Maret, bassist Jorge Bringas, percussionists Román Díaz, Luisito Quintero, Yusnier Sánchez Bustamante and drummer Harvey Wirht as well as Fernando Aponte, Akihiro Nishimura and Tim Marchiafava (engineers), photographer Erin O’Brien and graphic designer Andrea von Bujdoss have combined to produce an album of lasting beauty. The nine tracks are quite fascinating, the title track and “Wisdom” are two of the most brilliant leaving you with the distinct impression of impassioned, whimsical improvisations, while “Identidad,” featuring extraordinary work by Ms. Regev, is another one of those joyous songs that stick in the mind like a proverbial and welcome burr. The latter is boldly experimental with passages of prescient Colette Michaan.
Razia is schooled in the gentle sounds of Malagasy salegy music – accordions, acoustic guitars, lukanga lutes and valihas, the traditional bamboo zithers found across the country. With mellifluous electric guitars, Akory vibrates with an upbeat mood. But for all the sweetness of the music and its easy harmonies, there is a terrible brutality to her message. Songs with titles such as ‘How Will We Survive?’,
FRA FRA SOUND
A swinging tribute to the father of modern Afro-Surinamese music. Fra Fra Sound and guest vocalist Carlo Goedhart pay tribute to legendary tenor saxophonist Kid Dynamite (1911-1963). Born in Suriname, Kid Dynamite became one of The Netherlands' most colorful jazz musicians. Blending American jazz, Surinamese kaseko and calypso from Trinidad, he earned high respect from fellow musicians for his distinct style. His performances were never officially released on record, leaving behind a legacy mainly in the form of written compositions and lyrics.