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David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters: Yonn-De (2002)

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David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters: Yonn-De No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Saxophonist David Murray revisits his Creole project and this time sucessfully negotiating the music of Guadeloupe on Yonn-De. His prior outing, the 1998 Creole, adapted the Caribbean Island’s French, Spanish, African, and South American musical culture to a very recognisable American jazz and blues. This outing, he adapts his sound to the percussion-heavy music of the Gwo-Ka Masters. Gone is the flute, guitar and piano and most traces of our North American sound.

Murray’s horn shares equal spotlight here with the music of songwriter and vocalist Guy Konket. This recording centers on the African percussion music of this former French Antilles possesion. Vocalist and political activist Konket supplies the emotion, as Murray and company take on the unfamiliar role as sideman. His rhythms are straight out of Guadeloupe as the band ventures only once into a truly American R&B groove on “La Pli La.” But Murray is game for this drum-fest. So too are the jazz guests Pheroan Aklaff, Hugh Ragin, Criag Harris, and Santi DeBriano. Murray’s big slurring tenor melts with the groove-centric beats and powerful combo of Hugh Ragin’s trumpet and Craig Harris’ Trombone accent the pulse nicely.

kudos to Canadian label Justin Time for presenting world music as the main course and not just an accent to these jazz superstars.

Track Listing: Twa Jou San Manje; Youyou; On Jou Maten; Onomatopee (Boula Djel); Nwel

Personnel: David Murray

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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