Gilles Jonnais

Mizik Tan Lontan

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On this album, Gilles Jonnais, a clarinetist from French Guiana, has reinterpreted the traditional music of his native land. French Guianese music is a rich mélange of Creolized French salon dance forms, including mazurka, quadrille, and beguine. His clarinet playing is very lyrical and smooth, as is the tenor and alto sax phrasing of Emile Cibrelus. The guitar work is also sprightly and deft. Jonnais has watched this music get lost amidst the zouk wave that has overtaken the music of old. He resolved to do something about it, and this album is a worthy contribution. The music of French Guiana has some similarities with music from Martinique and Guadeloupe; however, it also incorporates influences from Brazil and has unique indigenous qualities. The bossa nova "Un Soir a Copacabana" is memorable not only for the silky vocal of Joseph Mondesir but also for the exquisite melody bathed in a tropical haze. Here is music of long ago brought to light by caring musicians. The music has been rescued from oblivion for your ears. It is fortunate for lovers of music without pretense and full of tropical swing. Highly Recommended.

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