Exposé Online banner

Fra Fra Sound — Kultiplex
(Pramisi BMCD 402, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01

Kultiplex Cover artFra Fra Sound is a Dutch band that's been around since 1980, fusing elements of jazz and world music. Founder/bassist Vincent Henar hails from Surinam in South America, and other members of the band seem to represent various parts of Europe and Africa. Even with all their diverse backgrounds and interests, Fra Fra keeps the focus mostly on the jazz, coming off something like the Yellowjackets with Afro-pop guitar parts. The lineup features a rhythm section of d/b/k/g with sax and trumpet up front; aside from the horns, keyboardist Robin van Geerke gets a lot of the solo time, with a fairly adventurous touch on both acoustic and electric piano. Efrain Trujillo (sax) and Michael Simon (trumpet) both solo well, balancing chops and melody nicely. Andro Biswane gets to step forward on guitar a few times, with a clean jazzy tone and bright blues lines spiced with African elements. Only once, on “Para United,” does the world influence come to the fore, with driving percussion backing call-and-response vocals. Then it's back to the smooth jazz. I'd prefer a bit more edge to the arrangements, or more emphasis on the Afro-Caribbean style, but many will surely enjoy this. Picture yourself in the lounge at the Dakar Hilton...

Filed under: New releases, Issue 29, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Fra Fra Sound

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

King Crimson - Vrooom – What a pleasant surprise... After just a minute of the opening title track, it's clearly apparent that this is no rehash of the 80s incarnation of Crimson. This double-trio formation (two guitars, two...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues