from South Africa Karén Devroop finished his studies in Texas,
USA. After his return to SA he is now Artistic Director of Music
Competitions at Unisa - The University of South Africa, Acting
Director of Music at University of South Africa (UNISA) Music
Foundation and Director, on the School of Music at NWU -
North-West University and lives in Pretoria.
of his academic line of business, he has also pursued his career
as a musician. He released his debut album Reminiscing
in 2010. The South African Jazz Songbook followed in
2018. Ancestral Home (2020) is his third album so far.
In the liner notes Karén mentions the participating
musicians on the new album with Trino Jiménez (piano, keyboards
& percussion), Bongani Sokhelo (electric bass), Kevin Gibson
(drums), Eddy Perez (electric and acoustic guitars), Sydney
Mavundla (trumpet), Dan Selsick (trombone) and Daniella Hart
(vocals). All tracks are composed by Karén Devroop. Karén plays
alto and soprano sax.
Opener of the album is Sunset in Koh Samui. Karén
perfectly captures the loveliness and beauty of the Thai resort
island with his soprano sax. The soprano saxophone is ideal for
translating tender feelings into sound, as Karén makes us
understand on Her Mother's Smile.
home is the place of origin of one's extended family,
particularly the home owned and preserved by the same family for
several generations. At the beginning of the piece, one is a bit
surprised about the slightly Latin American-influenced rhythm,
which one actually does not expect from a South African in
connection with the title. But by the middle of the piece, the
South African sounds through with a vengeance and draws a smile
to one's face.
Rita's Heart is self-explanatory
when you know that Rita is Karén's beloved spouse. With I
Can't Stop Thinking of You the direction can only be the
same. The song is even more refined by the singer Daniella Hart.
Hold My Hand is also unsurpassed in tenderness. Even
Kenny G couldn't do it better.
Venezia is a city with its own magic and architecture
that does not exist a second time in the world. The fascination
of this gem is tangible in Karén's piece. You might find here
and there a St. George's Bay in the great wide world,
but only one St. George's Strand in Pretoria. You can feel the
scenic beauty when you listen to Karen's song.
Never Leave You is the second song featuring vocalist
Daniella Hart. The University of South Africa has a high jazz
standard and it is quite understandable why Karén has chosen
Daniella as the vocalist for his album.
Final tune of
the album is La Clusaz, a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in
the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France near the
Suisse border. A fine ski resort with pronounced natural charm.
It speaks to Karen's savoir vivre to be familiar with all these
beautiful places in the world. To be able to interpret that
instrumentally as well, tops everything.
Karén Devroop's album Ancestral Home is a well-balanced
album for romantics who are looking for an appropriate musical
soundtrack for their contemplative hours.
Buy the album
in all stores
Title: Ancestral Home
Artist: Karén Devroop
Genre: Smooth Jazz
1. Sunset in Koh Samui (4:53)
Mother's Smile (5:30)
3. Ancestral Home (4:11)
5. I Can't Stop Thinking of You (4:25)
My Hand (4:34)
7. Venezia (4:24)
8. St. George's Bay (4:08)
9. I Will Never Leave You (4:44)
10. La Clusaz (4:27)