D'Gary & Jihé - Horombe (1995)

«With an instrumental virtuosity and unique vocal style, D'Gary has successfully brought the musical traditions of Madagascar to the international stage. His 1991 album, Malagasy Guitar/Music from Madagascar, was produced by American guitarists Henry Kaiser and David Lindley, and served as an introduction to his musical mastery. In a review of the album, Puncture, wrote “(This) is an album for guitar head who will be astonished by D'Gary's formidable technique and the heady whorl of music he can coax from his instrument”. D'Gary has continued to garner acclaim with his subsequent work.

His album, Horombe, recorded with his band, Jihe, showcased his talents as an arranger with the melodies of his open-tuned guitar skillfully balanced by texturally-rich orchestration. […] D'Gary (whose given name is Ernest Randrianasolo) has a captivating fleetness and grace in his guitar playing and, consistent with much popular song from Madagascar, that buoyancy is in effect on most of the pieces here. The rhythms are quick, never leaden or bombastic and the backing vocals also serve a rhythmic function to keep things skipping forward. D'Gary's voice is engagingly rough and even if the listener is entirely ignorant of the language, it's unique conflation of elements of Indian and Arabic as well as mainland Africa makes for an unusual and fascinating succession of sounds. While the overall upbeat nature of the album makes for a fun listen, one sometimes wishes for a bit more depth and seriousness as provided, for example, by the great singer Dama Mahaleo in his collaboration with D'Gary, The Long Way Home. Still, admirers of African pop and roots music will find much to enjoy here.»

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Anonymous said...

I like the sparseness of this album with just guitar and vocals; a nicely balanced heartfelt performance. Thank you!

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Anonymous said...

Thank you... I've been looking for this one... much appreciated