GINO SITSON "Echo Chamber" Featuring: Manu Dibango, Maria João, René Geoffroy, Sara Caswell, Jody Redhage, Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin and Mike McGinnis
Echo Chamber is probably Gino Sitson's most ambitious project to date. It is also the culmination of a musical reflection that embraces his multiple cultural influences, and begun more than twenty years ago. The Cameroonian vocalist, based in New York, mixes his perfect mastery of African polyphonies, classical harmony - baroque and contemporary - and the codes of North American jazz to create a musical universe unheard of to date. On the basis of a chamber formation, Gino Sitson adds his unique singing, a real protean instrument with an incredible tessitura, both harmonic and percussive, alternating melodies, harangues, choirs and rhythmic support. The voice mixes and intertwines with themes and improvisations, in onomatopoeia or in Medumba ( one of the numerous Bamiléké languages of West-Cameroon), doubles the clarinet or embroiders on the cello and viola legato. We could quote Schubert, Debussy, Bernstein, Bobby McFerrin (obviously?), Milton Nascimento or the Pygmy songs of Central Africa at the same time because all participate in this luxuriant debauchery of forms and sounds. At the bend of a track, we will not be surprised to meet the mallets of Manu Dibango who knights Echo Chamber with the sound of his marimbas. Further on, René Geoffroy's bouladjel reminds us that Guadeloupe is also a “country” of the African diaspora and that the link to the land of origin survives in the vibration of the gwoka. Finally, this new neo-classical universe could only blend perfectly with the sweet madness of Maria João who finds here an ideal ground to express her lyrical fantasy. Gino Sitson's Echo Chamber project, both primal and petrified of African, European and American musical history, is an unrivalled and stunning synthesis.
Christophe Jenny / March 2018
The new album "Echo Chamber" will be released in January 2019.