Desertions, snowstorms, cancelled flights, fires and calendar issues; everything
seemed to go against the creation of this new album.
With unbeatable energy and optimism in the face of all the trials, Toine Thys
finally managed to bring these magnificent musicians together in a New York
studio to record this album.
Two great musicians with whom the saxophonist often plays are there: the
Franco-Senegalese guitarist Hervé Samb (Salif Keita, Lisa Simone, David
Murray, Youssoun Dour) on electric and acoustic guitars and the Canadian
drummer Karl Jannuska (Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Baptiste
Enthusiastic and intrigued by the music and mix of personalities in this group,
the American organist Sam Yahel, sparring partner of Joshua Redman, Bill
Frisell, Norah Jones and Maceo Parker, joined the team and stepped into
the repertoire with brio.
The trio turns on the axis provided by Thys’ Hammond organ and music.
The compositions, rooted in groove, are influenced by soul and African music.
The playing of Hervé Samb on several of the tracks brings the music
even further, either through his hypnotic accompaniment (check the acoustic
guitar on the album’s first track, ‘Lullaby of Goun¬ghin’), or his intoxicating
solos. At times, the stronger tracks make room for some mystery and
gentleness, carried by Thys’ bass clarinet and the warmth of Sam Yahel’s
Thys’ compositions evoke trips in West Africa (Lullabye of Gounghin and
The Optimist), late nights after the Carnival celebrations in Binche (Masks &
Feathers), the loss of his friend and singer Wassyl Slipack in Ukraine (Cosmic
Wassyl) or are dedicated to hotheads.
SAM YAHEL (US)- hammond organ
Sam Yahel is one of the world’s best-known Hammond B-3 organ players in the jazz and creative music scenes. He has worked with artists such as Joshua Redman (Elastic Band), Maceo Parker, the guitarists Peter Bernstein and Bill Frisell, Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux, among others. His extreme versatility, with influences as diverse as Larry Young’s post-bop, gospel, pop harmonies and world music, make of him a supple, highly efficient sideman that is in great demand by major players.
HERVE SAMB (SEN)- acoustic & electric guitars
Whether it be on acoustic or electric guitar, Senegal’s Hervé Samb’s passion for African grooves has led him down a thousand musical paths. He has played with Meshell Ndegeocello, Salif Keita, David Murray and Oumou Sangaré.
“…Herve Samb is one of the 20th century’s biggest revelations from the African continent: his feline groove (…) sums up the jazz-rock-electro-bop-acoustic traditions, mixing blues and a transfigured Africa.” (Jazz magazine).
KARL JANNUSKA (CAN)- drums & percussions
Based in Paris, this son of a pastor from Manitoba is a virtuoso and prolific drummer that has produced many albums and played with musicians such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Hays, David Binney, François Théberge, Rick Margitza, Baptiste Trotignon, Paolo Fresu and Pierre de Bethmann. For years already, he has been one of the keystones of the Parisian creative scene.
TOINE THYS (BE) – tenor, soprano sax & bass clarinet
In addition to his own projects, Thys can often be found playing alongside Sidiki Camara, URBEX de Antoine Pierre, Andrew D’Angelo, Ben Monder, Reggie Washington, Afrikan Protoköl, Jozef Dumoulin, Laurent Blondiau… He seeks out musical encounters, notably with an ensemble of traditional Korean percussions (Samul Nori), a project with the Egyptian oud player Ihab Radwan, as well as the Burkina Faso griot Zouratié Koné. In 2014, Thys founded a brass instrument school in Burkina Faso with trumpet player Laurent Blondiau that now teaches 50 students: LES VENTISTES DU FASO. Thys is also very active in the defence of musicians through www.facir.be. He plays a central role in sax and bass clarinet in Europe. He leads seveal projects (Toine Thys’s Overseas, Rackham, Orlando), and is also in demand as a sideman.