Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hal Singer & Jef Gilson Soul Of Africa

A groundbreaking set of work from the team of Jef Gilson and Hal Singer -- a uniquely cross-cultural session recorded in the Paris scene of the 70s, and easily some of the best work ever from both musicians! Singer's probably best remembered on these shores for his older R&B tenor work of the 50s -- but sometime during the 60s, he moved over to Paris, where he cut some mighty great music -- including the legendary Paris Soul Food album, which predates this one by a few years. Gilson was always a great artist on the French scene -- a modern pianist whose work of the 60s was always fresh and new, and a player who moved into more of a world jazz sensibility as the 70s approached. Together, both players work some real magic here -- deep soul from Singers tenor, sharper tones from Gilson's piano -- and a range of weird and wonderful notes from other players who include Bernard Lubat on vibes, Jacky Samson on bass, Frank Raholison on drums, and both Del Rabenja and Gerard Rakotoarivony on percussion -- really helping the record live up to its "Africa" title! Samson's bass is especially amazing -- roundly-toned, and incredibly soulful -- as much so as his legendary work with Marco DiMarco, but pitched slightly differently here -- and titles include "The High Life", "Liberation", "Mother Africa", "Chant Inca", and "Garvey's Strut". Plus, as an added bonus the CD also features 2 incredible earlier tracks by Gilson -- material recorded with Lloyd Miller back in the 60s -- playing "micro organ" and balaphon, with a sound that's almost even more haunting than the main album. Other players include "Pierre Caron on tenor and Alain Tabar-Nouval on alto -- and titles include "Le Grand Bidou" and "Fable Of Gutenberg". (Dusty Groove)

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