Raivo | Hommage

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World: African- East Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Featuring Piano
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by Raivo

Hommage is the first CD produced by Raivo, a Canadian based band that is dedicated to playing original music and the compositions of R.R. Majunga, a famous composer from Madagascar. The music on Hommage is a mixture of Malagasy traditional and popular mus
Genre: World: African- East
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fanantenana
5:35 $0.99
2. Malagasy Anie Innao
3:14 $0.99
3. Malagasy Anie Innao (original R.R Majunga)
1:59 $0.99
4. Ny Fitia
6:02 $0.99
5. Soa Mita
5:12 $0.99
6. Laisse-moi partir
4:49 $0.99
7. Mandalo miserana ihany
2:45 $0.99
8. Hetsim-po
6:33 $0.99
9. Trano kely ravarava
1:30 $0.99
10. Fahiny sy ankehitriny (original R.R. Majunga)
1:40 $0.99
11. Fahiny sy ankehitriny
3:43 $0.99
12. Majunga (original R.R. Majunga)
1:46 $0.99
13. Majunga
4:06 $0.99
14. Hiombana
5:33 $0.99
15. Tsiambaratelo
3:21 $0.99
16. Tsiambaratelo (original R.R. Majunga)
1:29 $0.99
17. Fanantenana (original R.R. Majunga
2:59 $0.99
18. Veloma Dada Havako
2:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
RAIVO R.R. Majunga - Hommage

RAIVO, an Ottawa based group, was formed in 2001 and is dedicated to playing original compositions and the music of Raymond Razafimbahiny (1919 - 1963) better known in his native Madagascar as R.R. Majunga.. As one can hear on Hommage, Raivo has been blessed in having the opportunity to record the music of R.R. Majunga. It is very melodic music and it sticks in your ear. With this the first of two recordings (the second Mahabibo was released in 2008) Raivo explores the repertoire of R.R. Majunga while using the broad musical template that R.R. Majunga established to forge new areas with their own compositions

R.R. Majunga\'s life story and development as a composer is closely intertwined with Madagascar\'s birth as a nation. Songs like Malagasy anie ianao, Ny Fytia and Fantenana are considered Malagasy classics. Malagasy anie ianao with its focus on Malagasy pride is considered an unofficial anthem in Madagascar.

RAIVO is led by Maggy Razafimbahiny, who is the lead singer and her husband Dean Pallen, the musical arranger and saxophonist of the group and producer of Hommage. Ms. Razafimbahiny is also the daughter of R.R. Majunga. RAIVO means the daughter born between two daughters in Malagasy.

The music of R.R Majunga was at its popularity in the 1950\'s and early 1960\'s. He composed numerous songs in the kalon\' ny fahiny/hira tranaina traditional Malagasy piano music style and the popular hiragasy style. He also mixed in other styles of music that were popular in the French colonies at the time such as the cha cha cha, mambo and jazz as can be heard by his use of the so called \"blue note of jazz.\"

His songs remain well known in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. In 1995, a collection of up and coming Malagasy musicians produced an R.R. Majunga tribute album. Songs such as Malagasy anie ianao have been interpreted by the likes of the internationally acclaimed Malagasy band Tarika Be.

As for RAIVO, the group carries on the tradition of mixing Malagasy rhythms, jazz and other musical styles that were popular in Madagascar in the 1950\'s to create its own very melodic and unique brand of Malagasy music. For example with their 2008 recording Mahabibo, Raivo made the musical connection between South Africa and Madagascar, the two African countries that have a long tradition of putting the piano at the forefront in both traditional and popular music. In fact, Raivo is very much on a crusade of keeping the tradition of piano based African music alive. Once upon a time, properly functioning pianos could be found all across the island of Madagascar. Today, this tradition for a number of reasons, mostly economic, is very threatened.

RAIVO\'s recording \"Hommage\" also includes samples or full length versions of five of the original recordings of R.R. Majunga. The original versions have been placed alongside of RAIVO\'s own interpretation of the same piece. Before this could happen, the 78 inch recordings had to be sent to a company in Newmarket Ontario to be restored and digitally transferred to the CD format. Two original versions of R.R. Majunga\'s better-known songs Fanatenana and Malagasy anie ianao, are included on the CD.



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Ottawa Citizen Review

A Madagascar Music Icon\'s Haunting Songs Have Been Revived by His daughter and
Ottawa Citizen November 23 2002

A Madagascar music icon\'s haunting songs have been revived by his daughter
and her Ottawa husband
By Doug Fischer
Ottawa Citizen The tragically short career of (one of) Madagascar\'s most famous musician began with the execution of his father -- and continues a half-century later in Ottawa with a daughter he hardly knew. This connection between past and present will be on stage tonight at Ottawa\'s Bayou Blues & Jazz Club, and can be heard on a compelling new recording. But stories like this are best told from the beginning.
In this case, that\'s March 1947 in Mananjary, a thriving mining town on Madagascar\'s east coast, where a teacher and several other men were put against a wall and shot for plotting to end 81 years of French colonial rule. Among those forced to watch the executions was Raymond Razafimbahiny, the teacher\'s 25-year-old son. Until that day, he\'d been known as an unassuming, fun-loving office clerk who liked music - he played the piano at parties - and who was devoted to his wife and infant daughter. Razafimbahiny had never shown any interest in politics. But as the son of a member of the resistance, he was suspected of being a sympathizer. He knew he had to flee. Gathering his wife and daughter, brothers and sisters and their families, a tribe of 15 to 18 in all, Razafimbahiny led them inland on foot, unsure of their destination but knowing it was urgent to get as far away as possible. For months they walked, stopping occasionally for a few days while a woman gave birth or a sick child got better, then picking up and continuing their slow northwest trek. Music had always been a part of Razafimbahiny\'s life, but never more than a pleasant diversion. Now, though, as he journeyed with the memory of his father\'s execution tearing at his soul, Razafimbahiny began to compose songs and poetry to express his pain. \"It\'s what we think of as therapy today,\" says Maggy Razafimbahiny, the daughter who wouldn\'t be born for another 10 years and who found her way to Ottawa 30 years after that. \"All he knew was he had to get down his thoughts to keep going.\" The songs Razafimbahiny wrote were often deeply personal, but it was possible to interpret them in broader ways, as nationalistic expressions of love for Madagascar. And among them were the songs that would soon become island
The trekkers eventually arrived at the end of the road, 450 kilometres from their starting point, at Majunga, a lively port city on the island\'s northwest shore. Razafimbahiny found work, and as life eased into routine, he began to perform again at parties. He was a fine pianist, and his music was an appealing blend of popular Malagasy styles and influences imported by the French - the mambo, cha-cha and jazz. As his local fame grew, he and his band (singers, bass and drums) were soon being hired to play at larger celebrations. Sometime in the late \'40s or early \'50s, he changed his stage name to R.R. (after his first and last names) Majunga (after his adopted home). By \'51, he was recording his songs, and over the next 12 years, Majunga became something of a living icon, his style emulated by musicians across the island. In 1960, when Madagascar finally achieved independence from France, he performed his best-loved songs at the celebrations. But three years later, without warning, Majunga suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving a wife and four children between the ages of one month and 17 years without a breadwinner. \"I don\'t remember a lot about him, but I think he tried to cram too many things into too short a time,\" says his daughter Maggy, who was six when he died. \"He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and lived life to the fullest.\" For the next decade, the Razafimbahinys struggled to get by with help from their extended family. Eventually, as the children grew and got jobs, things improved.
By the 1980s, Maggy was working for UNICEF - and that\'s when Ottawa entered the picture. She met Dean Pallen, a 28-year-old Ottawan on a three-year Canadian International Development Agency program connected to UNICEF. By the time he left for home in 1991, they, too, were connected - romantically. She followed him to Ottawa a year later, and they were married. Their marriage was a good fit musically. Pallen, a jazz musician and composer on the side, had travelled extensively, always with his saxophone handy. \"A big part of my learning came from sitting in with local musicians wherever I went,\" he says. \"It gave me a broad musical perspective.\"

Maggy Razafimbahiny had never sung professionally but, blessed with a haunting voice, she became lead singer of Mada Vazo, a group that built a loyal following in Eastern Ontario and parts of Quebec while performing Malagasy folk music. Pallen sometimes sat in with Mada Vazo, but it wasn\'t until a group of up-and-coming Malagasy musicians produced a pop-style tribute album to R.R. Majunga in the mid-\'90s that he began to think about doing his own more serious homage, with Maggy as the main singer. He started to transcribe and work on fresh arrangements of Majunga\'s songs -- there are roughly 40 in all, 22 of them on record -- and had some of the original 78-rpm recordings digitally enhanced to improve their quality. In 2001, Pallen and Maggy formed Raivo -- the word means \"middle daughter\" in Malagasy -- to perform and record the music.
The group\'s CD, Hommage, was released this summer. Not surprisingly, Majunga\'s strong melodies and rhythmic mix get a lively reworking through Pallen\'s fresh arrangements. The recording contains a distinctive jazz influence -- Pallen\'s warm tenor sax sound bears a striking resemblance to Stan Getz\'s -- yet it\'s more than just a world music recording with jazz overtones. That has a lot to do with Maggy Razafimbahiny\'s instinctive feel for the Malagasy rhythms and uniquely plaintiff voice, which stays with you for hours after listening. \"I\'d heard her sing at family reunions and things,\" says Pallen, \"but it wasn\'t until I heard her doing traditional Malagasy religious pieces at a wedding that I knew just how amazing she is. \"She got something you can\'t learn. It\'s just in her.\"
Knowing most listeners would never have heard Majunga, Pallen wisely included five of his originals -- including two of his best-known pieces, Fanatenana and Malagasy anie ianao -- on the CD, which provide a delightful contrast to Pallen\'s updated versions. Razafimbahiny is pleased with the outcome: \"It was interesting to take a traditional beat and put it in a more jazzy setting and yet keep the original language in the vocal,\" she says. \"I love the exotic way it came out.\" She also believes the mix would have pleased her father, for whom she feels a new closeness. \"I finally got the relationship I wanted with my father,\" she says quietly. \"It the kind of spiritual connection I\'d always hoped for.\"
This article appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2002. It appears here with permission of the newspaper.