173

Los Agentos: Afrykanski Snieg

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Los Agentos: Afrykanski Snieg Out of Poland comes an eclectic band of musicians led by harmonicist Robert Lenert, wrapped in a kaleidoscope of sound and image. The name of the band is Spanish, but the players sing in English, French and Polish, and their music takes them through pop, jazz and R&B. A sprinkling of African rhythms and the array of African instruments played by Andrzej Serafin level the musical terrain, but it is the overall context that counts, and the band scores big points with Afrykanski Snieg's varied program.

All of the tracks are vocal outings except for "Broke My Baby's Heart," a blues tune on which Lenert lets his harmonica enunciate the emotion with a foreboding sense of sorrow.

Bozena Mazur and Bozena Okoniewska sing all the songs, with the exception of the title track, on which Lenert lets his harmonica wail across his own languid vocals. Both Mazur and Okoniewska bring in different approaches through their phrasing and articulation, injecting charm into the consistently strong melodies.

"La Neige Africaine" (French for African snow), opens with an old music hall flavor before settling into an inviting, and quite irresistible pop tune. Okoniewska's expands the appeal with her peppy playfulness. "Przeszlo mi" calls for a different kind of emotion, and Okoniewska shows that she is more than a one-dimensional singer as she finds the cord of sadness that runs through the song and grabs it, turning it into a standout performance.

Mazur is no slouch either. She illumines Nina Simone's "Be My Husband," the sadness and yearning in her voice carrying her own bluesy interpretation to great heights. A country-tinged melody is given gentle wing on acoustic guitar, contrasting with Mazur's soft, jazz inflections on "Leniwiec," in turn, giving way to blues instrumentation in changes that are seamless and riveting.

The band brings a range of dynamics into play, the instrumentalists never trying to usurp the singers; in complementing them, the group graphically demonstrates its prowess. With the arrangements adding to the character of the music, Los Agentos comes across as a highly accomplished ensemble.

Track Listing: La Neige Africaine; Linia 129; Petna kontrola; Vinyl; Be My Husband; Afrykanski Snieg; Przeszlo mi; Broke My Baby's Heart; Pasazer; Sopot; W moim malym miescie; Leniwiec.

Personnel: Bozena Mazur: vocals; Bozena Okoniewska: vocals; Andrzej Serafin: marimba, nord wave, udu, darbuka, percussion, sampling, spring drum, temple blocks; Pawet Okoniewski: acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, bass guitar; Piotr "Lupi" Lubertowicz: acoustic guitar, vocal; Olek Gorny: electric guitar, slide guitar; Stanisaw Grela: electric guitar, acoustic guitar; Robert Lenert: harmonica, guitar, vocals.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Flower Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Narrante" CD/LP/Track Review Narrante
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "In Movement" CD/LP/Track Review In Movement
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos" CD/LP/Track Review B'shnorkestra: Global Concertos
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!