Saturday 1 July 2023

Music buzz | Reviews (Jul/Aug 2023)ª

Caribbean Beat Jul/Aug 2023

47 On Strand  Élan Parlē


The album title references an address in Cape Town, South Africa, and a point of reflection and unique perspective for a Trinidadian wanderer there. In this instance, that explorer is the architect of 21st century kaisojazz (calypso jazz): Michael Low Chew Tung, élan parlē, himself. From his vantage point, literally in a hotel across the street, he mined the influences gained from seeing, hearing, and being there. The energy of the street, the vista of Table Mountain in the distance, the percussion and sounds of a distant Africa move his compositions towards a new centre for musical innovation. Continuing the exercise of expanding the vocabulary of kaisojazz — begun in his 2013 album, I Am Élan Parlē — the music here occupies a contemporary jazz profile. Tunes like “Load Shedding” and the title track don’t burden the listener with complex solos, but marry the sonic aesthetic of island elegance with a modern African presence for expanded possibilities.

  1. This review appears in the July/August 2023 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
© 2023, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

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