if you’re like me you’re constantly seeking to quench your thirst
for fresh music by familiar and for me new artists as well. Sakesho’s
(pronounced sah kay show) serves up an exciting sophomore
project on Heads Up Records titled “We Want You to Say”
maybe without a doubt one of the most infectious and innovative
records that you’ll hear this year. Producer Andy Narell says,
“the last four years have been an intense growth period for me”.
Bingo! The developmental process for Sakesho is and will
continue to be phenomenal. This is certainly an achievement to be
proud of, kudos to Narell, Heads Up Records and the gang for
establishing themselves as prime composers, forward thinking record
label (executives) and amazingly talented musicianship in an unstable
marketplace that doesn’t have much value for talent let alone
creative music of this magnitude.
Canonge ~ piano, Jean Philippe Fanfant ~ drummer, Michel
Alibo ~ bass and Andy Narell ~ steel pans, Produced by
Andy Narell for Heads Up Records © 2005
incredibly talented pianist Mario Canonge who hails from the French
Caribbean islands pens the opening track “Bwa Moudong”.
The quartet’s interplay and dynamic improvisational skills are
positively challenging and uncompromising works of art.
Jean Philippe Fanfant scores “Ewa Belia”, that
just happens to be his first composition for the band. The structure
is based on the belia – “a traditional rhythm from the
island of Martinique”. Sakesho is wired for the groove
never wavering as Fanfant drumming is unlike anything I have
heard before. His playful yet powerful syncopated rhythms are simply
so easy to become engulfed by the flawless musical expressions that
artists like Andy Narell often captures fluently without
breaking a sweat. Narell pen the next tune it is titled
“One More Touch”. This is without a doubt classic
Narell. The changes and interplay are brilliant there is no
mistaking this is jazz on the tip. Andy’s pulsating steel pan
playing will leave you drooling. Pianist Canonge is awesome!
Canonge scores another riveting composition, this one’s titled
“Dance Ska La”. This track is a bright and colorful tune with
underlying hooks and textures of Jamaican ska music.
Narell’s pan solos fully supports this idea. Fanfant’s
drumming skills are masterful. This composition challenges you
to never ease up in this listening experience because at a moments
notice you’ll miss several valuable interchanges between the
title track “We Want You to Say” is written by
bassist Michel Alibo and it has hints of early Hancock
stitched into it. Alibo is a serious contender in the who’s
who of funky bass players in contemporary jazz. Pianist Canonge’s
solos on this track taps into the tradition of the Sixties bop
players as he strides his way up and down the 88’s fiercely!
Steps” at the 6th position on “We Want You to
Say”. The rhythmic phrasing and colors features guest
artist Magic Malik who’s an Afro Caribbean flutist. Malik
sounds similar to Dave Valentin’s fire breathing tonality and
Michel Alibo pens another tasty composition this one’s titled “Jou
La Pli”. On this cut what I hear is sort of mosaic like texture;
this is what jazz is to me. The melodies magically flow with haunting
backing vocals enunciating each note of the title of the song. In time
this rhythmic pace changes in flight, suspended in motion, arriving at
its destination leaving and lasting imprint within this soundscape.
Ou Inmin Mwen is
a duo piece written by the talented Canonge. This duo offering
featuring Canonge and Narell is sonically beautiful; it’s
truly a masterpiece.
this fascinating collection of inspiring songs by Sakesho. The
title of this track is named for “Andy’s son, Isaac, “who
played the melodies on the sax for him while he was writing the it”.
This jam starts off in the classic Narell mode with
funky drumbeats by Jean Philippe Fanfant and bassist Michel
Alibo slides in and out by navigating his fret with divine purpose.
And then Andy Narell quietly yet precisely executes the
steel pan notes as if he was born with the instrument in his hands.
Pianist Mario Canonge is without a doubt a masterful
player, nuff said!
those of you who by chance missed their self-titled debut in 2002, you
missed out on a treat of a lifetime musically. Sakesho
exemplifies in their ability to travel thru this myriad of complex
changes, demonstrating that their exuberant interplay and improvised
solos are beyond brilliant. If you’ve never heard this group, you
have certainly missed out on an opportunity to hear some truly
magnificent and thought provoking music and distinguished
musicianship. Jot down these names and please do yourself a favor and
remember them because you’re bound to meet these guys in another
musical setting along the path of discovery. Sakesho on their
second offering “We Want You to Say” showcases an extensive
and imaginatively intense mix of fresh music that cuts to the core of
their spontaneous musicianship and hopefully “we’ll” have
the opportunity to catch them in concert in the near future.
in the United States don’t know much about this music yet, but we
believe it’ll happen”