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Fra Fra Sound: Dya So (2008)

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Fra Fra Sound: Dya So How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Warning: Listening to Dya So may cause the humming of melodies, head bobbing, finger snapping and an uncontrollable urge to dance.

The Dutch jazz septet, Fra Fra Sound, has performed together for over 25 years entertaining crowds around the globe with their international blend of members and music that has roots in Pan-African, Caribbean, Latin and urban music.

A lot has happened since their 2003 release Kuliplex (Pramisi Records), constant touring and multiple projects including a big band recording; but one thing is certain, Dya So (translated: Right Here) is proof that the group is as tight as ever and are still going for the gusto.

The nine tracks are packed with first-class Afro-centric tunes. Like an elaborate quilt, its vivid colors are splashed with an array of influences—the music of the Crusaders 70s jazz/funk, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, and the energy of singer Angelique Kidjo. Though there are many individual moments of the seasoned artists but the group dynamic is the most prevalent factor; tight horn arrangements, infectious beats with ubiquitous percussion.

The entire recording is strikingly consistent, but also yields surprises; the sound of voices and children playing on "Along the Crossroad," a nice bass/guitar bridge in "GK" and a throwback to urban street horns of Cannonball Adderley, Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley on "100% Halal." The percussion/piano duo track "Le Nouveau Mande" and the Afro-Cuban clave of "Nahawi" all point to a group whose repertoire is fluently versed in a variety of settings and know how to entertain listeners with enjoyable and accessible music.

Track Listing: Along The Crossroad; GK; 100% Halal; Omolareso; Gettin' Ahead; Le Nouveau Mande; We'll See You There; Bosumede; Nahawi.

Personnel: Vincent Henar: electric bass, bandleader; Harvey Wirht: drums; Robin Van Geerke: piano; Andro Biswane: guitar; Efraim Trujillo: tenor saxophone; Michael Simon: trumpet; Carlo Ulrichi Hoop: percussion.

Record Label: Pramisi Records

Style: African Jazz


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