Joe’s Jazz: Sixun – RFI Music

Joe’s Jazz: Sixun – RFI Music





Seiun, 2022.

© Philippe Lévy-Stab

The timelessness of the Sixun group seems to have been acquired and yet 38 years have passed since the first echoes of this virtuosic formation that has been able to put the richness of our cultural differences into music. Appealing to our open-mindedness through a repertoire infused with international rhythmic and harmonic sources is an undeniable artistic force. Uniqueness promotes listening and exchange in a fragile and restless world.

In the heart of the 1980s, the spirit of concord prevailed over dissent and distrust in France. The voice of progressives manages to attenuate fear and retreat. It is in this context conducive to collegial experimentation that Sixun was born. The intention is simple: to play with sonorous colors rooted in the four corners of the planet. This challenge is immediately and brilliantly taken up by the mastery of six acute instrumentalists who, right from their first recording steps, impose an immediately identifiable tone. The fusion of the respective origins creates unity without distorting its sap. The bet is successful and Sixun becomes a reference for all supporters of a hybrid and universal jazz.

The composition of the group certainly explains this propensity to embrace melodies and cadences that have fled from the five continents. Each member of this stirring orchestra instinctively releases their heritage, their DNA, their innate inspiration. The swinging stroke of Paco Sery on drums, the delicate technicality of Michel Alibo on bass, the formidable fluidity of Louis Winsberg on guitar, the fiery breath of Alain Debiossat on saxophone, the swirling play of Jean-Pierre Como on piano and, at the same time , the agile hands of Idrissa Diop on percussion, fueled the planetary momentum of this finely crafted music. We would almost forget the nationalities of the different protagonists. It doesn’t matter if one is Ivorian or the other French… You just have to be!

An irresistible time

Over the years the family has stuck together. Only the drummers acted as a killjoy, coming and going as they pleased. Since 2005, Stéphane Édouard has breathed new life into the colorful repertoire of his companions. His Indian origins have invented an irresistible rhythm that enhances Sixun’s Afro-detonating matrix. The seven keys is the clear example of this necessary and exciting development. This title, however, closes a bit hastily this thirteenth album, too short to satisfy our insatiable gluttony. It doesn’t matter, it could prompt us to listen repeatedly Uniqueness to discover the thousand and one stylistic secrets cleverly disguised by a perfect mastery of writing.

We are also delighted to be able to savor Sixun’s entire discography, once again available on legal listening and download platforms. This immediately revitalizes slices of life, memories, spectacles, a majestic epic punctuated by celebrations and tributes. How can we not congratulate ourselves for Sixun’s reverential wink at pianist Joe Zawinul in The water from there in 1990. This pioneer of acrobatic combination, founder of the Weather Report group together with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, had seriously captured the attention of our six protean shakers. They certainly would have validated the recent instrumental screenings of the six friends whose exploits on stage or in the studio continue to amaze us.


Sixun will turn 40 in 2024! The instigators of this extraordinary human adventure have kept the freshness of their former convictions. Their music is its pure and natural expression. It has also gained in density. It is impossible to doubt their artistic sincerity and personal integrity. These six friends have accompanied our daily lives since 1984, without ever departing from this guideline that has made them successful. When we listen to their albums, and especially the latest one Uniqueness, the desire to fraternize with our contemporaries, wherever they are on this earth, becomes evident. Let’s relearn dialogue, the need to be benevolent and attentive. We live together. Banish distrust and intolerance. Sixun’s music has this power to provoke encounters. A concert by these six wise agitators is always an opportunity to share vibrant moments of communion. Suddenly we become one… an audience… unique… seeking uniqueness… Uniqueness !

You are a, Uniqueness (Preview/BMG) 2022

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