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Sakesho: We Want You to Say…

We Want You to Say… (Heads Up), the sophomore album by the jazzy world-music band Sakesho, will put a smile on your face, not only because of the bright, upbeat music, but also because the bandmembers’ high spirits are practically palpable. The band, which is led by steel-pans master Andy Narell, explores various styles of the Caribbean, infusing each composition with the improvisational energy of a live performance, not a buttoned-down studio recording.

Sakesho begins with a beguine, a form of French-Caribbean dance music, on “Bwa Moudong,” a joyous workout whose tempo changes constantly. “Dance Ska La” is an infectiously catchy ska tune so felicitous that even the drums sound happy. Narell and pianist Mario Canonge demonstrate their extraordinary accord, both collaboratively and with their solos, on the duet “Cha-Cha Ou Inmin Mwen,” while the rhythmically shifting “Baby Steps” features adventurous, exotic flute courtesy of Magic Malik. The band wraps up the album with “Izo’s Mood,” which opens as a delicate steel-pans melody and ends up a vigorous band jam.

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