Friday, August 19, 2011

CD Review: Ny Malagasy Orkestra's 'Masoala'



The land of Madagascar has given us a host of musicians over the years, including Tarika, D'Gary, Tombo Daniel, Samy Izy, Jaojoby, Justin Vali, Njava, Rajery, Razia Said, Rossy, and others. The Ny Malagasy Orkestra consists of nearly a dozen musicians, including Justin Vali, Chrysanthe Velomijoro, Maurice Razanakoto, Manindry, Fafa Rakotoson, among others. The highlights of Masoala, which means "great virgin forest", is the unique instrumentation consisting of the valiha (tubular zither), langoraona (snare drum), jejo voatavo, and more familiar tools such as guitar, violin, and accordion. Vocals are scattered throughout the recording. The music is generally very relaxing and entertaining at the same time. The unmistakable valiha shines on every track. The sweet melodies are matched by the tender instrument playing. Not one weak track resides on Masoala. Let the Ny Malagasy Orkestra entertain your soul into oblivion. ~ Matthew Forss

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