Les Amazones d'Afrique are an all-female collective of west African musicians, campaigning for gender equality. They have been described as a supergroup, and the characterisation seems apt. Angélique Kidjo, Kandia Kouyaté, Mamani Keita, Mariam Doumbia, Mariam Koné, Massan Coulibaly, Mouneissa Tandina, Nneka, Pamela Badjogo and Rokia Koné hold a strong pedigree, and it's a rare opportunity to witness such a collaboration; the real sound of contemporary Africa. République Amazone is the sound of the diaspora of African music returning home, a reclaiming outside of genre and time. As much at home on the dancefloors of east London, or as part of an Awesome Tapes from Africa festival set in Croatia, as it would be ringing out of a cement brick house in Bamako, it showcases the sparkling range and versatility of its songstresses.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. A mighty nice set from pianist Cees Slinger – a live performance from a very hip octet – a group who can come on with ensemble fury one minute, then play like a small combo the next! Slinger's choice of musicians is wonderful – and includes Dusko Goykovich on trumpet, Fredinand Povel on alto and soprano, and Ruud Brink on tenor – all musicians who really make the sound sparkle with their solos, but can also slide nicely into the context of the rest of the group, too – in the manner that Povel and Goykovich were so good at on performances for MPS. There's a great sense of color throughout – really showing off Slinger's skill as an arranger – and titles include "Never Forever", "From Way Back", "Changing Colours", "Fee Fi Fo Fum", and "Killer Joe".
This edition presents, for the first time ever on CD, the complete long unavailable 1976 Villalago performance by the Sam Rivers Trio, featuring Don Pullen as a guest soloist. One of the best exponents of free jazz, this set features Rivers playing tenor and soprano saxophones, flute and piano on an extended exploration of his "Black Africa".