Kouté Jazz: French Indies Jazz Selected By Digger’s Digest

FrontCover.qxp_KoutÈJazzHere is something for all of the jazz lovers out there. Heavenly Sweetness out of France is following up their very successful Freedom Jazz France compilation with another Jazz compilation entitled Kouté Jazz. Compiling jazz from the French West Indies, Franck from Heavenly Sweetness and Ash from Digger’s Digest unearth rare and unknown tracks from the French West Indies scene of the ’70’s and ’80’s. Mixed in with these tracks are some Martinique and Guadalupe traditional rhythms. The opening cut “Soprann Aux Antilles” by longtime Guadeloupian scenester and saxophone player Camille “Soprann” Hildevert sets the mood for this entire compilation. Conjuring thoughts of cool summer nights and holding your girl (or guy) tight, it’s got enough horns and rhythm to carry you through the night. Highlights of this unique compilation include Marcel-Louis Joseph’s Strata East/ Black Jazz inspired sax and organ blaster on “Prière au Soleil”, and the soundtrack to some French detective movie in Erick Cosaque’s “Kominiké”. Both different types of jazz, but inspiring and mysterious in their own ways. Les Vikings de la Guadeloupe are included on this record, who also happen to have Camille “Soprann” Hildevert in the group, this time contributing sax and flute. Their “Ka Nou Pé fé” contains some haunting vocals, island rhythms, and an element of African jazz to it that can not be beat. Guadeloupe Reflexions pay tribute to the first island inhabitants in this heavy keyboard, dance floor jazz piece entitled “Samba Arawak”. Recorded in 1980, it has Latin elements that shine through. Francisco’s ‘Wache” could easily have been featured, had it been known here in the States on those early Pulp Fusion compilations that were used by so many DJs (this one included) playing out. Marrying blaxploitation soundtrack, Afro-Rhythms, and dance floor jazz, you better check your pulse if you can’t get moving to this one. All in all, this entire compilation is solid. Heavenly Sweetness are known for specializing in these kinds of sounds, so it’s no wonder they can get the goods before anyone else and put out a really unique compilation that reaches across continents with such a loud voice. This is excellent jazz, jazz they might get passed over if Franck and Ash hadn’t decided to keep it alive for us. They’re not just DJs, they’re historians and preservationists working tirelessly to keep new ears tuned in to French West Indies gold. The record will drop on September 25th.

Check out Heavenly Sweetness here.

Keep Diggin’!

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