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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Fabrizio CASSOL (b.1964)
performed by AKA MOON: Fabrizio Cassol (alto saxophone), Michel Hatzigeorgiou (fender bass), St‚phane Galland (drums)
1. Omax 1 (Tokyo) [7:15]; 2. Michel is back [8:06] ;3. St‚st‚ [3:02]; 4. Istanbul [8:33]; 5. Unison [4:35]; 6. For drummers only [2:38]; 7. Mirror [4:35]; 8. Fones [5:27]; 9. East Berlin [5:32]. All compositions by Fabrizio Cassol. Rec. by Michel Andina at Jet Studio, Brussels, Belgium in December 2011. [49:43]


Aka Moon (pronounced AH-kah MOON) is a Belgian jazz band named after the Aka pigmies of the Central African Republic who the forming trio visited in 1990. The band which has released nearly 20 cds to date is described as avant-garde with elements of jazz, rock, world and avant-garde and are the leading exponents of a whole jazz movement in Belgium that includes 8 or more bands, an amazing fact for a country with a population of only ten and a half million. This disc was released in March 2012 to celebrate the band's 20th anniversary. What strikes you right away is the power of the music and the three musicians playing it; it is hard hitting throughout in its delivery of full-on no compromise contemporary jazz all written by band leader Fabrizio Cassol. However, this description shouldn't put people off from trying it if they don't already know the band; I didn't but found much to enjoy. However, some might it find somewhat difficult to listen to the entire disc in one sitting. Highlights for me were Istanbul, the title track Unison, Fones and East Berlin. I understand that it was Fabrizio Cassol who was the first musician to try out a new instrument invented by Belgian Fran‡ois Louis in the late 1990s, the aulochrome, a double soprano saxophone - I'd have liked to heard that featured on the disc somewhere as the similar sound of the alto sax did occasionally have me wishing for something different. As a way for anyone to get into contemporary jazz that still incorporates melody and a tune you can follow and that is not "off the wall" this is a good starting point.

Steve Arloff

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