Koun
C'est En Souhaitant Bonsoir!
Keltia Musique (www.keltiamusique.com)

This Breton band has come to fuller fruition on this new album. Their fusion of traditional and popular music has gone well past simply slamming disparate elements together, to a deep and thoughtful merging of ideas. The production by Gilles le Bigot is creative, and the band's arrangements for bombardes, guitar, pipes, bass and violin, are slender, open and concise, allowing each instrument a place to shine. There are nice moments of interplay between the bowed bass and the bombarde and bagpipes that really stand-out. This openness also allows for a wonderful, expansive space for singer Véronique Bourjot, whose clear, lightly ornamented style breathes life into old songs and new. Here is where the band shows that less is more, in a barren series of lines for guitar, bass and a mysterious bass percussion sound, that just barely underpins a fragile vocal line. There's a more jazz-oriented feel to things here, especially in the upright bass lines, as well as a classical feel that appears in some of the music. But they are first and foremost a folk group, and the traditional dance tunes and songs are strongly rooted in tradition but never mired in reproduction. This is fresh, original and imaginative new music. - CF

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