Tuesday 1 September 2020

Playlist (September/October 2020) | Music reviews

Soné Ka-La 2 Odyssey Jacques Schwarz-Bart

(Enja Records)

“As long as I can remember, there was always gwoka and jazz music in my life,” says Guadeloupean saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart. Gwoka drums are the basis of that island’s folk music, and on his new album Schwarz-Bart has fused the language of jazz with those native rhythms to forge a new aesthetic for the Antillean musician. This sequel to his original 2005 album updates that initial intent of making gwoka jazz a defining moment, and completes the journey of discovery that happens after fifteen years of travelling and playing music all over the world, and knowing one’s place in it. Voice (Malika Tirolien) and sax juxtapose to shine melodically over gwoka drum rhythms and harmonic dissonances provided by premier fellow Antillean jazz stars Grégory Privat, Arnaud Dolmen, Sonny Troupé, and American bassist Reggie Washington. Improvisation in the context of an Afro-Caribbean pulse long eschewed in modern jazz is a refreshing return to the centre.


  1. This review appears in the September/October 2020 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
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