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Fely Tchaco


Review by Gary Hill

In some ways just knowing the background of Fly Tchaco (born Leye Felicite Martin) prepares you for what you are about to hear. She was born in Africa's Ivory Coast, but she moved to San Francisco as a young adult. Her music incorporates both traditional African sounds and an American music sensibility. I think a big part of the allure to this is the authentic blending of the two musical worlds. Keep m mind that most of the lyrics are not in English, but if you are fine with that, it's well worth checking out. There is plenty here to appreciate.

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Track by Track Review
Ato Lagoh
World percussion is on the menu as this gets underway. What sounds to me like very traditional world vocals join to drive the tune.
Cawe Yoko
This is a killer tune. It takes those traditional elements and combines with some rocking guitar, and particularly a smoking hot solo. The traditional parts are the main ones here, but that rock infusion is a great touch.
Blamer Les Autres
The vocals remain in the traditional world zone. The music, though, has more of an almost jazzy approach. This arrangement is classy and a nice change from the previous two cuts.
Djebi Dje
That jazzy concept is in the driver's seat here. The chorus vocals are of the world variety, but the verses are spoken and in English. They tell a fable. This is a number that just oozes class and style..
Do Afe
Jazz, pop music and world sounds all seem to merge on this energetic and bouncy cut.
Another that's based strictly on percussion and voices, this has a much more traditional world music feeling to it.
This comes in almost proggy. I'm reminded of something Jon Anderson might do in some ways. It has a great rhythm to it and some classy style. The vocals are strictly of the world variety. There is plenty of world percussion to this, too. The whole tune really rocks, though.
The title track is melodic and quite beautiful. There is almost an organic new age vibe to the song along with plenty of world music.
It's Never Too Late
The lyrics on this are in English. Musically there is a classy jazzy arrangement. My big issue is that the vocals are seriously over-processed. It's a shame because this would be one of my favorites without that. It's a fun groove. Fortunately that processing is only present on one vocal part and not all of them, as this has a layered vocal arrangement. .
Tile Tete
I'm again reminded to some degree of something Jon Anderson might do. This is a cool rocking groove with both traditional world sounds and pop rock ones.
There is a classy, jazz meets pop and art music vibe to this. It still has some of the world music elements, but overall is more of a cross-over piece. The vocals are not all that far up in the mix on this. I like this a lot. It has a nice grounding effect to the whole set.
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