Exposé Online banner

Zao — Ethnic-3 Live
(Musea FGBG 4779.AR, 2009, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01

Ethnic-3 Live Cover art

Since the band was founded in the early 70s by ex-Magma members François Cahen (piano) and Yochk'o Seffer (saxes), theirs has been a constant evolutionary path, with no two consecutive Zao albums having the same approach, although they do share stylistic similarities. Members came and went over the years, they lost their vocalist, added a string quartet, went 'fusion' for a while, then there was a long hiatus while Seffer and Cahen went off in different directions. The band regrouped in the 90s and has produced a number of recordings (mostly live sets) in recent years. The Zao Ethnic Trio presented here – a live set recorded at Le Triton featuring Seffer and Cahen along with drummer François Causse – have taken the Zao sound in a more improvisational-jazz direction with distinctive African, middle-eastern and Caribbean influences. While the interplay between the three musicians is well balanced and highly energized, it's Seffer by virtue of his solos on tenor and soprano saxes, flute and tarogato (an ancient Hungarian woodwind instrument similar to a clarinet) that gets a bit more time in the spotlight. Causse mostly uses a standard drum kit, and Cahen uses synthesizers liberally, so the proceedings rarely stray too far into what most would consider ethnic territory, and tends to stick closer to a free jazz sound. All said, these are three master musicians and one can be assured that anything they do together will sound great.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Yochk'o Seffer, Zao

Latest news

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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Björk - Medúlla – For a supposed “pop” artist, Icelandic singer Björk has shown a stubborn disregard for the conventions of pop music. From the beginnings of her career as a techno diva, she has steadily pursued...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues