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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sparks - Sparks & A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing – Most probably know Sparks from their later work, but these two are where it all began for this LA based five-piece led by brothers Ron and Russel Mael (keyboards and vocals, respectively). On these...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues