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Afrique

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Album Review

For their third offering, Mokave continues to bring music from jazz and world folk perspectives that bends strict labeling rules. It's Mokave's unique sound, borne from the always deft and elegant bass playing of Glen Moore, the melodic, tranquil musings of pianist Larry Karush, and the frame drumming and percussion work of the ever worldly Glen Velez. In their simplest, stripped down compositions, Karush takes the lead through delicate traipsings as during John Abercrombie's "Parable," the folkish lyricism and loping tick-tock pace of "Country," or the light, boppish paean to Bill Evans via Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step." While these are basic themes, they are treated with the utmost respect for their rich harmonic sensibilities. Working on a very Don Cherry-ish theme, brimming with bright staccato and pied piper or griot-like storytelling nuances, the outstanding title cut also sports a dancing 6/8 groove under the bass flute of guest Pedro Eustache and furious, insistent percussion, while a pretty, left-hand, repeated piano line in 6/8 is as a children's song intro, "Africa 3/2" then breaks out with the dark continent's power and glory, and calms again as Karush gets to stretch out on his illustrated, extended improv. Extra percussionists John Bergamo, Junior Homrich, and Bob Fernandez join Mokave on these two selections. There's spatial bass from the always inventive Moore, village drumming and sparse, plunky piano to a 7/4 dirge, minimalist 4/4 bass, and clangy, twangy piano strings that constitute "Bugle Ann," while distinct forward motion from a churning Velez informs neat and clean piano in the ultra-melodic lines of "Sun Bone." You get some free improvising here too à la the Cecil Taylor-flavored piano theme with cymbals and dings on "Fragments/Whispers," while Karush sits out and a sighing, crying Moore joins Velez, Bergamo, Homrich, and Fernandez for "Mr. Moore's Neighborhood," and a lively multi-cultural 'hood it is. This is a marvelous ensemble, hopefully one that plays and stays together for many years to come. They define the true spirit of world music, using jazz structures and improvisation, mixing it with the spirit and rhythms of diverse cultures. Bravo Mokave! ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Top Albums and Songs by Mokave

Afrique, Mokave
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion
  • Released: 01 January 1994

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