Jazz CD Reviews

Olivier Ker Ourio – Oversea – Dreyfus Jazz

He’s played the chromatic harmonica since he was a boy and boy, can he play it!

Published on March 9, 2008

Olivier Ker Ourio – Oversea – Dreyfus Jazz
Olivier Ker Ourio – Oversea – Dreyfus Jazz  FDM 46050 369122 ****:

(with a variety of guest performers, incl. Sylvain Luc, Didier Lockwood, Jean-Michel Pilc and others)

Oliver Ker Ourio may be the world’s top jazz harmonica player at the moment. He comes from a Celtic background in Brittany but his family settled in the 18th century on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. He’s played the chromatic harmonica since he was a boy and boy, can he play it! His unusual melodic treatments wind their ways around a wide spectrum of what might best be termed world music jazz.

A number of the 14 tracks are originals from Ker Ourio, but there is also his highly unique treatments of Alfie. A few vocals adorn the album, but guitars and piano support  his amazing harmonica improvisations for the most part. There are interesting ornamental additions from jew’s harp, a sitar, a rolled-up newspaper and a can of soda. This is a wonderfully different musical experience, and illustrates that the ‘harp’ can really light up the jazz world in more than just the blues genre.

TrackList: Panier su la tete, nichanté; Mangé pule coeur; Alfie; P’tit case en Paille; 7en Septembre; Dimitile; Ilet a Corders; Santa Cruz; Le Secret des Longitudes; Petite Fluer AiméeMaracaibo; Le Ro dans le Bois, Lost Island, L’ile Retrouvée

- John Henry




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