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Aka Moon is a Belgian jazz band. Their name is commonly mispronounced "AKA Moon" like the acronym for "also known as". The correct pronunciation is "AH-kah MOON".
Founding and style
The founders of the trio are saxophonist Fabrizio Cassol, bassist Michel Hatzigeorgiou, and drummer Stéphane Galland. All three were in groups, including the Nasa Na Band with guitarist Pierre Van Dormael, before forming Aka Moon. They formed the band after spending time in the Central African Republic studying the musical habits of Aka pygmies. In 1992, they released their first album, inspired by how pygmies created music.
Aka Moon combines jazz, rock, and world music. They could be compared musically and philosophically with the M-Base movement and M-Base founder Steve Coleman, Belgian ensemble Octurn, Stéphane Payen's Thôt, Sylvain Cathala 's Print, Vijay Iyer, and Rudresh Mahanthappa.
Their first few albums released in the early 1990s (Aka Moon, Rebirth, and Live at Kaai) featured the original trio. In the mid-90s, the band included Indian musicians and music for Akasha Vol. 1 and Akasha Vol. 2, which used flute, tabla, and mridangam. Ganesh added guitarist Marc Ducret. Elohim featured a more electric lineup, with vocalist David Linx and keyboardist Benoit Delbecq. Live at Vooruit featured percussionist Doudou N'Diaye Rose.
In the late 1990s, the group produced the trilogy Invisible Mother, Invisible Sun, and Invisible Moon. The concept was based around the Chinese I Ching (book of changes). Invisible Mother has the trio playing with the Ictus Ensemble, a European chamber band. The music showcases a dark, chamber string-quartet side of the band and lays the groundwork for the follow-up albums in the trilogy. Invisible Sun is an eleven-piece big band. Invisible Moon features Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman and Benoit Delbecq. Aka Moon revisits and rearranges several themes found in different spots throughout the trilogy.
In Real Time (2001) was composed for ballet company of Anne-Teresa De Keersmaeker Rosas. Guitars (2002) included jazz guitarist David Gilmore. Like earlier works, there are examples of recurring, rearranged themes within the album as the group pays homage to several different guitarists and their styles: like John Scofield, Bill Frisell, and Paco De Lucia. Amazir (2006) included Magic Malik (flute, voice) and Fabian Fiorini (piano).
On Carbon 7 Records:
- Aka Moon (1992)
- Nzomba (1992)
- Rebirth (1994)
- Akasha Vol. 1 (1995)
- Akasha Vol. 2 (1995)
- Ganesh (1997)
- Elohim (1997)
- Live at Vooruit (1997)
- Live at the Kaai (1999)
- Invisible Mother (1999)
- Invisible Sun (2000)
- In Real Time (2001)
- Invisible Moon (2001)
- Unison (2012)
On other labels:
- Guitars (De Werf, 2002)
- Amazir (Cypres, 2006)
- Culture Griot (Cypres, 2009) with Baba Sissoko
- The Scarlatti Book (Outhere, 2015)
- Prato, Greg. "Aka Moon | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 December 2016.