Sunday, October 18, 2009

What to do Tonight: Fra Fra Sound

Posted By on Sun, Oct 18, 2009 at 8:00 AM

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If you like your music labeled, Fra Fra Sound will leave you scratching your head. Call the Amsterdam-based group world music, call it jazz, call it anything you want. Formed 25 years ago, the septet takes its name from the Surinamese “Fra Fra,” meaning “mysterious” or “hybrid.” The Afro-Caribbean band is touring behind its latest CD, Dya So, an amalgam of high-life, rai, island chicken-scratch, funk, percussion virtuosity and an ever-shifting, ever-surprising front line. Voices bring you into a sunny marketplace on “Along the Crossroad.” For a contemporary strutter’s ball, try the funky, splashy “Omolareso.” For a sexy cha-cha, try “Le Nouveau Mande.” Want to step inside the rhythm? “Bosumede” will guide you. While the heart country of Fra Fra Sound is Africa, their sound and approach are decidedly and exhilaratingly international. Founded by bassist Vincent Henar, Fra Fra Sound’s latest spotlights the tunes of saxophonist Efraim Trujillo, who sparkles on soprano on “Nahawi,” the album’s sweetest track. Nighttown (12383 Cedar Rd., 216.795.0550, nighttowncleveland.com) better clear a gang of tables so people can dance when Fra Fra Sound hits the stage at 7 p.m. Tickets: $20. —Carlo Wolff

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