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René Lacaille & Bob Brozman
Riverboat Records (

cd cover Brozman's musical jaunt around the world takes him this time to L'ile de la Réunion, six hundred miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. This little dot in the ocean is richly multicultural, with French, African, Malagasy, Indian, Chinese, and Arab cultures all crossing paths. Brozman teams up with multi-instrumentalist René Lacaille for a high-energy romp through the island's musical styles. Lacaille is a sponge, soaking up not only La Réunion's traditional sega and maloya, but adding touches of merengue, salsa, blues, and cha cha cha, just for starters. The fast 6/8 meter of sega and its African predecessor maloya is the underpinning for this joyous and colorful mix, and Brozman and Lacaille keep listeners on their toes by shifting the accents and adding layer upon layer of guitars, charango, percussion, and accordion. Lacaille sings in a deep, earthy Creole on several of the tracks. Lyrics in the notes are printed in Creole, French, and English and they show a playfulness and a lust for life that is enviable. None of this is, of course, strictly traditional La Réunion music. The little conceits of the decidedly non-Réunion National steel guitar and charango see to that, but all can be forgiven in light of the how much fun these musicians obviously had making this release and how much fun the listener will have experiencing it. - Peggy Latkovich

See also: Rene Lacaille's recording Patanpo

Digdig is available at cdRoots.

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