Fra Fra Sound — Dya So
(Pramisi PRA CD 0704, 2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
It’s a big world, and many people are free to move around it, so something like a “Dutch Afro-Caribbean” jazz band shouldn’t be too unexpected, I suppose. And given this band’s long history (formed in 1980), they alone could be responsible for making their genre not seem strange. The seven-piece international lineup features trumpet and sax backed by a rhythm section of keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion (there are eight musicians credited, but I think there are different drummers on different tracks). The music is joyous and energetic, sometimes emphasizing the Latin / Caribbean side of the mix, sometimes the African side, but always propulsive and enjoyable. I am sometimes reminded of the seminal African jazz recordings of Manu Dibango and Hugh Masekela back in the 70s. None of the more outré elements of modern jazz are present in this tuneful blend; in keeping with the Afro-Caribbean roots of the music, most of the chords are simple major and minor without the extensions so prominent in Western jazz, but this doesn’t mean the music is lacking in sophistication. Given the somewhat narrow harmonic bounds, all the players find interesting things to do within the framework.
Related artist(s): Fra Fra Sound
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more