Jazz CD Reviews
Olivier Ker Ourio – Oversea – Dreyfus Jazz
Published on March 9, 2008
(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