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Pieds Nus

Review by Lisa Sahulka


There is a depth to this music which takes a minute to define. It isn’t a day at the beach barefoot, minimal clothing and a band playing all day on the shore. It is an extended time in a place that is both familiar and exotic, joyful, serene and that experience of waking up from a distant dream to sunshine, waves and West Africa.

Here you are listening to a brew that includes what might be called African funk or jazz fusion (a term that should not conjure Pat Metheny but more of the places Abdullah Ibrihim goes with his more African infused albums such as The Pilgrim). You will hear a sort of Congolese rumba and upbeat music which whispers a bit of reggae or African Highlife in that it calls you to dance, a feature sorely missing in much modern jazz but that was so present in Duke Ellington’s best works.


"Le Village" is precisely the antidote to the dismay one might feel in our troubled times. The music creates a fence around your worst thoughts and guides you into a time and land where these concerns simply don’t exist for a moment.


These original songs take melodies and rhythms from many places, and overlay jazz and improvisation to an uplifting effect that is most welcome. In English, the songs translate to things like The Anchor, The Salt, Where to Go?, Marumba, and The Ink. A favorite is "Mamie Créole." It begins with a loving call to "Mamie, Mamie!" and ends with an ocean evoking "wae hoo." "Robben Island" conjures a tribute to this beautiful place off the coast of Cape Town (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years). You might feel a bit of Miriam Makeba's "Pata, Pata" drifting through it.

Soadan is the trio of Gregory Audrain (vocals, guitar, bass), Armel Goupil (marimba, keyboards) and Jean Marie Lemasson (vocals, drums, percussion), all natives of Brittany in France but steeped in the roots of not only their own culture, but a wide range of music from far flung places in Africa, the Indian Ocean and South America.

Visit the artists online.

More to listen to:
Kobo Town
Maga Bo
Les Filles de Illighadad
Tone of Voice Orchestra

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