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Afrika! Afrika! by Quartette Indigo

Akua Dixon is a featured guest on many jazz recordings. However I was not familiar with her group Quartette Indigo. It didn’t take me long to search out one of her recordings with her quartet, as the music is completely fresh and enchanting.

The CD Afrika! Afrika! by Quartette Indigo is all about strings and the interpretation of the blues, jazz standards and originals by the leader of the group, Akua Dixon. Ms. Dixon’s originals are a blend of many different genres, classical, spiritual, jazz and blues, the music swings and sounds fresh and vibrant. The musicians who make up the string quartet are highly skilled, classically trained jazz improvisers that put heart and soul into their playing.

The recording features twelve tracks, four originals by Akua Dixon and the rest of the songs - a mix of little known tunes like "Fizz Water," by E. Blake, a 1914 Ragtime composition that is resurrected and given new life. Sounding as a small orchestra with tuba, trombone, piano, and a string section, this number really cooks, considering all these sounds are created by four string players, miraculous. Some well known songs like "So What" by M. Davis and "Song For My Father" by H. Silver, an incredibly creative, sensitive and appealing take on this wonderfully enchanting melody.

There are a lot of great songs on the recording Afrika! Afrika! the songs that swing the hardest are the songs that provide the most excitement, songs that slow down and explore the melody with gorgeous phrasing and songs that make you thoughtful, relaxed and pleased, a fantastic string quartet playing fantastic music in a manner that is completely enticing and engaging. More! That’s what comes to mind after the final song, "Akua’s Blues."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Quartette Indigo
  • CD Title: Afrika! Afrika!
  • Year Released: 1997
  • Record Label: Savant Records
  • Tracks: Conversation Piece, So What, Love Song, Hound Dog, Afrika! Afrika!, Theme For The Eulipions, A Night In Tunisia, This Little Light Of Mine, Fizz Water, Song For My Father, Rush Hour, Akua’s Blues
  • Musicians: Akua Dixon (cello), Regina Carter, Marlene Rice (violin), Ron Lawrence (viola)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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