Sunday, April 6, 2008


Based on Ejay's post of Frimpong last week there's a conversation going on in the comments, I mentioned this group so here they are from their album 'Whendo', plus here's a little background from their website.

This young brass band promotes the originality of the music of Benin combining an original mixture of jazz and Beninese traditional music: voodoo rhythms (Sato, Zinti, Ogbon) and songs in local languages (Yoruba, Fon Goun).

The Gangbe Brass Band was created in 1994 when 8 musicians, all from Cotonou-Benin, came together. These young jazz musicians had been playing in different groups, before creating this unusual fusion of traditional styles.
Their aim is to promote the originality of the music of Benin. The result is definitely both modern and traditional, as it mixes jazz and traditional Benin.
They take traditional rhythms, and invigorate them with jazz harmonies. The fusion reveals as much as possible of the musical tradition, while giving a western tone, to link the past and future. They sing in vernacular language about life in general, political injustices and the tribulations of women.
Through the word TogbĂ©, the band salutes the music on which they build their sound. The first meaning of the word is « ancestor », the band’s way of paying homage to the range and quality of the rhythms they created. The second is a reference to age, highlighting the ancient roots of the music they play.
Their musical approach is respectful of tradition, and in harmony with their ancestors and culture.
From 1994 to 1997, they worked mainly in Benin.
Thanks to LoJo and to Yves De La Croix, they recorded their first album called « GangbĂ© » and began an international tour of 35 concerts with them in 1999, playing in Europe and Canada, and another tour in Nigeria. They received an award at Benin Golden Awards, and took part in the first Nomad’s meeting, in Cotonou, and the Pan African of Jazz in Accra (Ghana).


nilpferd said...

That's good. Interesting sound- some of the arrangements remind me of Oliver Nelson. But it also sounds like Cuban or Roma brass bands at times.

ejaydee said...

Thanks GF, I liked it too, heard the Roma influences, coincidental or not as well.