Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe | Island Jazz

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Island Jazz

by Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe

Travel to the Indian Ocean for a dazzling musical encounter between Malagasy diva Monika Njava and Linley Marthe, world-renowned bass virtuoso from Mauritius.
Genre: Jazz: African Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ampasimahebo
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
5:04 $0.99
2. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
3:53 $0.99
3. Voantsarotse
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
3:54 $0.99
4. Railovy
Island Jazz, Linley Marthe & Monika Njava
4:06 $0.99
5. Jihe
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
4:09 $0.99
6. Benaiky
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
5:01 $0.99
7. Retsivere
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
4:21 $0.99
8. Manipule-nareo
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
4:21 $0.99
9. Sekire
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
5:17 $0.99
10. Ho tsarovantsika
Island Jazz, Monika Njava & Linley Marthe
3:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Anio Records is pleased to announce the release of the debut album by Island Jazz featuring Monika Njava & Linley Marthe. The voyage to this destination has been a long and fascinating one – not surprising given the scope and ambition of this unique project.

Too often, attempts at mixing jazz and world music take the easy route of adding a bit of exotic landscaping to well-trodden terrain. By contrast, Island Jazz has deliberately veered off the musical map. Guided by a strong sense of direction and extraordinary playing the group succeeded in making landfall on an undiscovered isle, one lush with indigenous musical species.

Island & jazz

Welcome to Island Jazz. Keep an ear out for antsa sung by Masikoro women in the cotton fields north of Tuléar, southern beko from the Antandroy people around Fort Dauphin. Each song tells a story: a spurned king, a flock of jealous birds, a woman’s secret. The crimes of colonial rule. Nostalgia for a lost golden childhood.

Listen further: to the way traditional melodies sit atop modern harmony, and irresistible rhythms like tsapiky and jihe are fashioned into contemporary forms with surprising twists and turns. You’ll even encounter an iconic jazz standard – but not as you know it. And get ready to be blown away by virtuosic improvisation from some of the most inventive musicians on the planet. These are the musical treasures that await you on Island Jazz.

“Island Jazz offers a wide range of color, fusing the traditional songs of southern Madagascar and modern jazz. Based on the spirit of jazz, the singer and her musicians concoct a musical treasure.” La Vérité

“Retsivere sounds masterful. You fully sense its roots in the soil, while the vocal line turns it toward modernity.” L’Express de Madagascar

About Island Jazz

Monika Njava, voice
Celebrated across Madagascar as the national diva, Monika Njava was lead singer in the prize-winning group Njava, recording two critically acclaimed albums for EMI. She has recorded with platinum-selling Deep Forest and tours with the band. Haizina, a world-pop solo album, was recently released on Anio Records. Singing in several Malagasy dialects, Monika draws on traditional tales and everyday village life for her lyrics. She also addresses contemporary themes, including violence against women, political corruption, and the environmental devastation of her country.
“Monika Njava as high priestess. She quickly conquered the hall with stunning theatricality.”
L’Express de Madagascar

Linley Marthe, bass
From the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, Linley Marthe is considered by some as the world’s foremost jazz bassist (see quote below). Now based in Paris, he continues to wow audiences with his incredible musicianship and deep groove. Linley played with The Joe Zawinul Syndicate for the last several years before Zawinul died. Other top artists Linley has worked with include Cheb Mami, Dave Liebman, Nguyen Le, Trilok Gurtu, Jean Luc Ponty, Paco Séry and Randy Brecker.
“Linley is just a phenomenon. I don’t know if there is anybody who can touch him in terms of overall bass playing.”
Joe Zawinul interview,

Joël Rabesolo, guitar
Joël Rabesolo is recognized in Madagascar as the country’s leading jazz guitarist. He seduces listeners with a distinctive mixture of traditional Malagasy music and contemporary jazz. His unmistakable style is highly imaginative, rhythmically complex and lushly melodic.
“A six-string virtuoso.”

Miora Rabarisoa, drums
On an island blessed with more than its fair share of amazing musicians, Miora Rabariso is In the first rank of in-demand drummers. With a touch ranging from delicate coloration to commanding groove he effortlessly blends Malagasy rhythms with urban beats of all kinds.
“An incredible talent, one of the revelations of the last Madajazzcar Festival.”
L’Express de Madagascar



to write a review

A. Maggiore

An encyclopedia of deep grooves, the tightest musicianship, and powerhouse vocal
Easily a prime contender for a World Music Grammy and many other awards. This album is a highly-anticipated return of bass virtuoso Linley Marthe. The former Zawinul Syndicate Bass Player has been busy with several projects in recent years and now we can once again hear him in full swing with some of the most amazing bass playing in recorded history. These guys have an intense chemistry that is both incredibly laid back and tastefully intricate at the same time. As my title suggests, the grooves are easily some of the tightest and best I’ve heard in many years. This album serves a poster child of World Music and you can appreciate the uniqueness of their native influences in every note. I am blown away by guitarist Joël Rabesolo’s mastery of his instrument and how every guitar lick compliments the music perfectly. Drummer Ndriana Kely is a revelation in both technique and in how finessed his approach is while propelling the intense grooves with the mighty Linley Marthe who is known as today’s Greatest Bass Player on Earth. Joe Zawinul was a perfectionist and only played with the finest musicians. Linley Marthe was the last bass player in a distinguished list that featured among others Jaco Pastorius, Abraham Laboriel, Victor Bailey, Matthew Garrison & Etienne M’Bappe. Zawinul’s comment regarding Marthe tells the story… “I don’t know if there is anybody who can touch him in terms of overall bass playing.” The final piece of the puzzle is Monika Njava and I must say that she sits perfectly with the incredible band. This is my first exposure to her and I can honestly say that she is probably the most powerful female vocalist alive today. I am a musician and a passionate lover of music. I have traveled a lot and have exposed myself to as much diversity in music as possible. When I listen to Monika Njava’s voice and think back on other notable world music singers like Eva Ayllón, Cesaria Evora, Angélique Kidjo, and many others, nobody out there has anywhere near the power, emotion, intensity, or color to their voices like Njava does. You almost feel like she’s about to jump out of the speakers. Overall, the album gives me a sense of euphoria because the musicianship is intensely outrageous and complemented with extremely powerful vocals. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!