Jean-Paul Raffit & Paamath – Mburu (ENG review)

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Jazz, World Blues
Jean-Paul Raffit & Paamath - Mburu (ENG review):

Guitarist Jean-Paul Raffit, well-known in French jazz, is quite hard to classify and always in search of different cultures to draw from for his inner sources. Here, he is at the center of his inner universe with artist Paamath, whose deep storyteller voice will enchant you from the opening notes of this album. It is an incredibly rich album, a rare piece where we also find flutist Isabelle Bagur, who is absolutely masterful. She skillfully uses her intellectual flexibility to perfectly fit into this completely unclassifiable and highly intellectual project. Intellectual because this kind of proposition requires mental agility to adhere to Paamath’s original Africanness while placing him in an unusual sonic setting. There is a blend of flute, guitar, and beatboxing on two tracks of this album by Eliot Saour, a protagonist with a profound sense of listening, and ideas that flow and are elegantly incorporated into Paamath’s work.
At times, Jean-Paul Raffit launches into repetitive forms that add to the drama of certain texts by Paamath. Between jazz, blues, and world music, there is something for every taste on this album. I would describe it as elitist because it won’t be able to please everyone. To appreciate this work, one must possess an open mind and a base of intellectual and musical knowledge that allows them to appreciate all its facets.
This form of sonic complexity, which requires a deep listening experience, is admirable, like admiring a work of art. Here, one settles in to enjoy this proposition, like a good novel, an adventure, a tale. The raw form of Paamath’s warm and raspy voice, along with Jean-Paul Raffit’s guitar, also rough and harsh, serves as a counterpoint, stimulating our senses without becoming Africanized. Each remains within their sonic perimeter and harmonizes with the other. This is the genius of this album, which, in my opinion, mainly comes to life on stage.
Although I have doubts, I hope this album gets airplay everywhere. It’s the kind of album that expands our minds, changes our perspectives, makes us reflect—concepts that are unlikely to be understood in an era where everyone keeps their eyes glued to their smartphones to avoid engaging with the world. Here, one must be open, alert to every sonic proposition, and feel the need to travel internally. Only then will you understand why the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have placed this album in their “Essential” stack.

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

PARIS-MOVE, January 28th 2024


Thanks a Gilbert Guyonnet ABS magazine – Radio Clapas (Just a little Blues)

To buy this album

1. Blues Time 04:28
2. Le bord des eaux 06:10
3. Bleu juin 02:39
4. Echo 06:20
5. Moudialé 04:59
6. Le chant de la terre 05:53
7. Blues for Paul 03:45
8. Ndoumbo Ndiaye 03:10
9. Hymne 05:20
10. Le chant des rameurs 04:07

Jean-Paul Raffit: Guitar
Paamath: voice
Feat. Isabelle Bagur: flûte (6, 9, 10)
Feat. Eliot Saour: human beatbox (7, 8)