Every Friday, The World Africa presents three new musical releases from or inspired by the continent. This week, time for fertile encounters between artists and different genres, from France to Congo via Senegal.
“The Tongue of Barbarie”, by African Jazz Roots
It was at the Saint-Louis jazz festival in 2009 that the French drummer Simon Goubert and the Senegalese kora player met Ablaye Cissoko. Together, they forged what would become “African Jazz Roots”, the name of a first album in 2012 and then of a group author of two records, Far away (2017) and soon Seetu, to be released September 29. In the meantime, the founding duo was joined by Sophia Domancich on piano, Jean-Philippe Viret on double b and Ibrahima Ndir on calabashes. The result, designed between Senegal and France, navigates at the crossroads of Griotic tradition and jazz modernity… like Saint-Louis, a meeting point between the river and the ocean.
“Do Yourself a Favor”, by Fabrice Martinez
Bringing together the repertoire of Stevie Wonder, living legend of “black music” American, with traditional African rhythms: this is the slightly crazy idea that sprouted one fine day in the head of French trumpeter Fabrice Martinez. It was enough for him to cross paths with Congolese drummer Romaric Nzaou, in Pointe-Noire, for this project to take shape around ten pieces published by Motown in the 1970s. Three other musicians joined this adventure between soul, makossa, funk and Congolese rumba, including the Franco-Cameroonian bist Raymond Doumbé. Recorded between Congo-Brazzaville and France, the album Steve in my Mind will be released on October 13.
“Under the Same Flag”, by Balaphonics & Mary May
We have already spoken to you about the “Afro br band” Balaphonics during the release of his album Spicy Boom Boom, in 2021. The French group, which explores with talent the most bry genres of African music (afrobeat, highlife, ethiojazz, etc.) while adding its balafon touches, is back with a new record in which it crosses the wall of “voice”, since it was recorded in collaboration with the singer and guitarist of Congolese origin Mary May. Simply titled Balaphonics & Mary May, this will be released on October 13 and includes eight pieces (and an interlude) which address themes as varied as ecology, ancestors and self-confidence.
Find all the editorial’s musical favorites in the YouTube playlist of World Africa.