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Cassol, Fabrizio: Strange Fruit

Fabrzio Cassol is a Belgian saxophonist and one of the co-founders of the jazz band Aka Moon. On his new album titled Strange Fruit, originally released in 2012, Cassol got together with fellow Aka Moon band mates Michel Hatzigeorgiou (electric bass) and Stéphane Galland (drums) as well as many other musicians including Oumou Sangare (vocals), Claron McFadden (vocals), Baba Sissoko (vocals), Marie Daulne (vocals), Kezia Daulne (vocals), Manu Codjia (guitar), Eric Legnini (keyboards, Hammond organ, piano), Laurent Blondiau (trumpet) and others too numerous to mention. It's a huge cast and the sound is not surprisingly just as large. The vocalists often take the listener to the heart of Africa where grooves and vocals unite to form rich sonic textures and tasty rhythms. The incredible vocal arrangements highlight the choir led "Strange Fruits", paying homage to the Billie Holiday version of the song as well as the bluesy "If Jesus…" with its sparse arrangement and gospel-like vocals. Lead Vocalist Kris Dane gives a riveting and emotive performance. On the album opening "Didadi Horns" the feel is very much Africa, especially the vocals augmented with large helpings of horn and flute work. Cassol offers a nice sax solo on the melodic "Soukora" while the lead and choir vocals on "I Can't Sleep Tonight" hit it out of the park. On many of these tracks the vocals take on operatic tones which to my surprise I quite like.

Strange Fruit is a melodic yet eclectic mix of African and jazz with elements of blues, opera, gospel and pop. Somehow the band blends it all together to make an intriguing concoction of music that sounds as tasty as it is diverse. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Didadi Horns (4:34)
2. Soukora (5:45)
3. Strange Fruit (2:19)
4. Strange Fruits (4:47)
5. If Jesus… (5:11)
6. I Can't Sleep Tonight (4:17)
7. Sehel Jesus (4:17)
8. Les Enfants De La Rue (5:36)
9. Chœurs Pygmées (3:19)
10. Some Days (10:51)
11. Farka (5:52)
12. Duga (2:46)

Added: May 17th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 1426
Language: english

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