Travel to the Indian Ocean for a dazzling musical encounter between Malagasy diva Monika Njava and Linley Marthe, world-renowned bass virtuoso from Mauritius.
Anio Records is pleased to announce the release of the debut album by Island Jazz featuring Monika Njava & Linley Marthe. The voyage to this destination has been a long and fascinating one – not surprising given the scope and ambition of this unique project.
Some attempts at mixing jazz and world music take the easy route of adding a bit of exotic landscaping to well-trodden terrain. Island Jazz, by contrast, deliberately veered off the musical map. Guided by a strong sense of direction and extraordinary playing the group succeeded in making landfall on undiscovered territory, lush with indigenous musical species.
Welcome to Island Jazz. Keep an ear out for the antsa sung by Masikoro women in the cotton fields north of Tuléar, and southern beko from the Antandroy people around Fort Dauphin. Each song tells a story: a spurned king, a flock of jealous birds, a woman’s secret. The crimes of colonial rule. Nostalgia for a lost golden childhood.
Listen further: to the way traditional melodies sit atop modern harmony, and irresistible rhythms like tsapiky and jihe are fashioned into contemporary forms with surprising twists and turns. You’ll even encounter an iconic jazz standard – but not as you know it. And get ready to be blown away by virtuosic improvisation from some of the most inventive musicians on the planet. These are the musical treasures that await you on Island Jazz.