Dominique Fils-Aimé – Our Roots Run Deep (CD – ENG Review)

Ensoul Records – September 22th 2023 – Available
Soul Jazz
Dominique Fils-Aimé – Our Roots Run Deep (CD - ENG Review)

Few artists receive as much favor from Paris-Move and Bayou Blue Radio, which can be attributed both to Dominique’s charisma and her impressive qualities as a vocalist and composer. I previously discussed this in 2019, you can find the article here. There’s also a French interview with Dominique Boulay (ITW here), and another article on the album “Three Little Words” here. And I can’t resist the pleasure of telling you about her new album, “Our Roots Run Deep.” Initially, we only know what marketing allows us to know: Dominique Fils-Aimé frames her latest album with a light and dreamy narrative structure that tells a story of growth. The first track sets the scene with the line: “our roots run deep beneath the ground.” Along the way, there are myriad human challenges and forms of interference. An underlying life force persists. The last track ends with the lyrics: “let me climb all the way to the sun.” There’s so much to say about the humanism and intelligence of the lyrics, how this album impresses from the first listen; everything in it is beauty, elegance, and intelligence. Dominique’s culture is impressive, with a part of African influence, a part of soul music, and a part of her soul. Fourteen tracks follow like the pages of a good novel, making it difficult for radio programmers to decide which track to highlight. For the first time, I let one of her fans guide me, Manuel Jiménez Friaza: “I love your music, and I am moved by your voice… Thank you for that! Favorite track: Cheers To New Beginnings.” Yes, Manuel! We may not know each other, but your taste in “Cheers To New Beginnings” is a title too short of breathtaking beauty, ending abruptly and leaving us breathless. This is where we need to start thanking the remarkable and captivating musicians who are the shadow architects of this masterpiece: Vocals: Dominique Fils-Aimé, Bass: Jacques Roy, Drums: Frantz-Lee Leonard, Keys: David Osei Afrifa, Percussion: Elli Miller Maboungou, Trumpet: Hichem Khalfa, Guitar: Etienne Miousse, Didgeridoo: Kevin Annocque. I didn’t know the trumpeter Hichem Khalfa, but believe me, this musician has a bright future on the highest peaks of jazz. Accompanying Dominique Fils-Aimé demands a high level of skill because her angelic face and gentleness reveal one of the greatest contemporary artists, an artist we love at Bayou Blue Radio – radical, uncompromising in her art, but never forgetting the ultimate goal, to touch an audience that is likely just as demanding. For Dominique, nature acts as an anchor, a source of inspiration that provides metaphors to express the unique yet interconnected journey of a human being. Her lyrics bring a soothing clarity to the already spacious atmosphere that envelops the album: “Just as the tide rises, my love will push back.” These elements are subtly balanced, with an ear for subtlety, creating beautiful melodic landscapes. The album traverses these soundscapes, with each song giving the feeling of entering a new habitat. If there are albums more essential than others, this one is definitely among them, according to the editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, November 3rd 2023


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