We love Lo’Jo in the Review Corner. We came across them on a compilation we had to review about the new wave of French music (Cuisine Non-Stop: Introduction to the French Nouvelle Generation, 2008, Luaka Bop), which was opened by Lo’Jo’s Baji Larabat.
Lo’Jo is a kind of collective, formed in 1982 and blending French folk and world music, with a strong North African influence. The founders Denis Péan and Richard Bourreau are the mainstays of the band.
This album, which came out last year, celebrated Lo’Jo’s 32 years together as a band (ie 310 moons) and features instrumental versions of some of their group’s most memorable tracks, arranged in the spirit of modern chamber music. (The second CD is a re-release of their very first album, The International Courabou).
The instruments are all wind — clarinet, flute, sax, brass, and some vocals; handclaps are the only non-wind contribution.
Despite being chamber music, it’s less classical and more world jazz, with a strong North African feel and a wild Balkan sound in places, thanks to the tuba and trombone. Fans of the jazzier/ world flute-based noodlings of Gong will find the music familiar in places. They’ve got a sound all of their own and it’s good fun. Fans of world, folk, jazz and trombones should check this out.
Cuisine Non-Stop: Introduction to the French Nouvelle Generation is also well worth buying; it was curated by David Byrne.
This is out now, on World Village (47910203).