The Belgian trio Aka Moon celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2022, and this CD is their twenty-fourth release since 1992, when they met the Aka Pygmies from whom they take their name.
While Fabrizio Cassol still composes the entire repertoire, this time he has drawn on a host of extra-musical sources of inspiration, including writers and philosophers Edgar Morin, Toni Morrison and Anne Dufourmantelle, whose “Puissance de la Douceur” (power of the softness) perfectly evokes the aesthetic of “Quality of Joy“.
For this recording, Aka Moon‘s three companions called on a host of instrumentalists, including Laurent Blondiau on trumpet, Michel Massot on trombone and euphonium, Joao Barradas on accordion and Adèle Viret on cello, to form a kind of big band with an original blend of acoustic and unusual electric sounds: a band which the trio defines as an “orchestral constellation”. This magnificent sound, with its richness of timbre and remarkable fluidity, is beautifully supported by the electric bass of Michel Hatzigeorgiou and the drums of Stéphane Galland, the two founding members of the trio.
Although Aka Moon is renowned for its use of complex meters, it always favors great melodic clarity, and Cassol‘s alto saxophone never loses its sometimes tender, sometimes flamboyant lyricism. The result is a shimmering, polymorphous music from a trio that remains one of Europe’s leading jazz groups. It will delight die-hard fans, and will be an excellent introduction to their aesthetic for those discovering Aka Moon via the aptly named “Quality of Joy“.
Line up :
Fabrizio Cassol: alto sax, composition
Michel Hatzigeorgiou: electric bass
Stéphane Galland: drums
Quality of Joy was released by the label Outhere Music.
©Photos Alexander Popelier