Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vo-Duo, Nou La, Markus Schwartz, Monvelyno Alexis

It's not of course unusual to hear the music of New Africa and experience new releases here in the States, whether it be Afrobeat or Jazz inflected sounds, two areas that can provide lots of appeal and fresh infusions of vitality.

A duo that does an especially great job of it with an intimate lineup is Vo-Duo, as heard on their Nou La (Lakou Brooklyn). What we have is the Afro-Haitian vocals and electric guitar of Monvelyno Alexis and the drumming and backup vocals of Markus Schwartz.

There is much going on here: some very subtle excellence in the rhythmically chording and melody weaving of the guitar, the polyrhythmic richness of Schwartz's drumming and the song-vocal effectiveness of Alexis. It has all the traditional heft of call-and-response mesmerizing but gets a big lift with the way Alexis works his magic.

This is an excellent match of musical talent in a extraordinary set of songs. All Africanists will love it--and if you want some great adventure but don't know a lot about the musical world this represents it's a great place to start.


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