Raw funk, jazz and Hip Hop

Oct 17, 2014
CD review 'Saskia Laroo Band – Live in Zimbabwe' by Stan Rijven for Dutch national newspaper Trouw.
translated by Warren Byrd and Saskia Laroo from Dutch into English
POP | Saskia Laroo | Live in Zimbabwe | 4 Stars out of Five ****

download pdf back to press and articles overview
Once upon a time live albums held an equally strong status as studio records. It's not without reason that 'Live at the Apollo' (James Brown, '63), 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out "(Rolling Stones, '70) and" Bob Marley "('75) belong to the canon. They combined musical essence with immediate sensation, immortalized in a snapshot, but who nowadays releases a spontaneous live-album in an era of digital meticulousness? The Dutch trumpeter Saskia Laroo dared to do so. 'Live in Zimbabwe' is the raw, imperfect account of her performance last year in Harare. As a movie for the ears, you are immediately sucked into the interaction between stage and audience. Laroo plays the stars out of the heavens, while her grooving band trundles on, fiercely propulsive. It is funk, jazz-dance and hip-hop in one. Rattling rappers impart stark commentary by 'call & response' on Laroo's muted trumpet sounds reminiscent of Miles Davis and also, due to the echo effects, especially to Hugh Masekela. Sometimes the band goes totally off track, but what urgency and energy. 'Africa dancing', the absolute prize song, has gotten an extra mix of itself as a radio-edit-- especially digitally produced for the Amsterdam Dance Event., for which Laroo was granted to open Wednesday at the Paradiso.