« She’s a Diva …» this is how Ahmad Jamal tenderly describes Mina Agossi, who was invited by the Maestro on his last album « Marseille ».
On her new CD « Urbafrika » with the talented Paco Sery on percussions as special guest, Mina Agossi is driving us in a world of beauty with carribean moods and African rythmes. A nous paris 2017
« L’Humanité » Dec 22, 23, 24 2017 by Fara C
Mina Agossi princess of Afro-futurism, with the Cd UrbAfrika «Mina Agossi, the sensual Franco-Benenese jazz singer is spreading love bridges between generations and hearts. Mina Agossi has been very prolific in 2017 with her amasing afro-futurist album UrbAfrika and her collaboration with the Maestro Ahmad Jamal.
The legendary and still so refreshing piano player of 87 years old has invited her as well as Ad Al Malik the French slammer, for a tour after the release of his CD « Marseille ». Mina says « it was each and every time like a day dream, singing the song « Marseille » is challenging as it is not so fluid as it seems, without mentionning the fact Ahmad Jamal always likes to twist and change things for the beauty of it all. Mina Agossi was born from a French mother and Benenese father. This vocalist and composer was discovered by Archie Shepp in 2005 who’s invited her numerous times during 10 years, she herself invited him on her album « Red Eyes » in 2012. For her 12 CD Urbafrika (…) Mina Agossi called Jean Adagbenon (ref Salif Keita, Bernardo Sandoval…) he’s from Azaoulisse the same village Mina Agossi comes from originaly, beautiful district in the Ouème valley near the Nigerian border. She contracted the village’s name in Azosse witch is the title of the last ballad of the album.
This song uses wémégbé language and is only played with Djegbegan traditionnal bells. Urbafrika is an exposure of some of the benenese patrimony that is not so wellknown in Europe, in spite of the fact this Cd is a tribute to the entire African continent.
Paco Sery the French-Ivory polyglot of rythmes « who can make a spoon swing » as Eddy Louis used to say, is appearing on the CD with is international fame and experience (Joe Zawinul, Fela….). The whole album was composed by Mina, except the wémégbé part, she opens her arms widely to the jazz roots and afro spirituality with the humble artist Philippe Combelle (ref Dizzy Gillepsie,Jacques Brel…) on the percussions, but also takes the energies of Arnaud Vilquin (keyboards) Eric Jacot on bass. Laurent Succab is here to play the traditionnal Gwoka from Guadeloupe, the ka was the the instrument used by the slaves before.
Mina says « with this album I decided to celebrate the patrimony of Benenese Culture but also focus on the tragic ages of slavery as out of the 12 billions slaves that have been deportated around the world, more then 2 billions were from Ouidah in Benin. The result that came out of it all is the fulgurance of our patrimony and the musical influences we find everywhere, from Bresil to Carribbean islands » Unique sound of the Djegbegan bells, rough and ageless voice of Jean Adagbenon, luxury landscape of rythmes, very powerful and melodious ostinato of the bass, and to cover up this tribute to peace, the voice of the sensual and creative princess Mina agossi, voice spread like bridges of love for all kind of hearts «
Mina Agossi, was so fresh next to the Maestro Ahmad Jamal for his blue wedding in Marciac, she releases her moving new CD UrbAfrika » Le monde 2017
« We do follow with great pleasure one of our most exceptionnal french jazz singer, she is on Urbafrika revisiting the grooves of Benin » Paris Capital 2017
Fame USA May 2012
FAME USA FAME Review: Mina Agossi -
Red Eyes Great way to kick off an offbeat jazz vocals CD here: an askew cover of Billy Idol's hit Eyes without a Face, a reading turning the chartbuster inside out, dragging it down from the skies to walk loopily down a country lane in a Bible Belt backwater hosting novo-beatnik Mina Agossi and a klatsch of schoolyard hipsters precociously mutating every stave and measure.
The real surprise comes in, however, as the second cut opens up, a song written by Agossi and almost shocking in its way past cool hybridizations, a kind of weird folk amble performed by a female Van Morrison with sultry Joni Mitchell undertones and distant Annette Peacock sympathies.
Then the well-famed Archie Shepp drops in to duet with her on his own The Stars are in Your Eyes, doing so in a voice just as unorthodox as the chan-teuse's. The esteemed Arch picks up his sax and proceeds to burble it equally bizarrely, and, at this point, I'm gobs-truck, as Red Eyes is 180 degrees different from anything I'd expected, and I'm digging it like there's no tomorrow.
Not to overstate things, but Mina Agossi is not unlike a Nina Simone in her daring forays in deconstruction and re-establishment. I can't think of a single person doing quite what she is, and, frankly, she goes places Nina never did, never even thought of, as brilliant as that icon was. Mina also mixed and produced the effort, and her hand shows quite clearly. I don't imagine yer average Quantum Studios functionary would've known quite what to do with this extraordinarily delicious decorous mess. And where she managed to find five musicans as preternaturally bent as she, I'll never be able to guess.
The singer covers Jimi's Red House, again tweaking the nose of a hugely influential song, leashing it to her idiom way the hell out of context. Get all the tribute albums you want, no one ever hit it this way. However, listen carefully to all the subtle and not-so-subtle aural experiments she fuses into each track in Red Eyes: that's exactly the kind of out-of-the-box sound Hendrix was trying for in various tracks while he was too brie-fly alive but which got crushed by the staid engineering personnel infesting the times.
If I don't put this on my year-end Top 20, someone please drop by and kick my ass 'cause there's no way on God's green Earth anyone is going to top it, let alone attempt it, for the remainder of the solar cycle. More, the CD is in a class of its own and, if there's any justice in this increasingly moronic Republican madhouse of ours, it will be stu-died by progressive musicians looking for new fields to frolic in. Ah, but then there's the kicker: Red Eyes is being released on the Naive label (distributed by Naxos). Naive?!?! Puh-leeze! Ms. Agossi is so beyond naive that Roget himself would be hard put to find the right antonym…but not me. The correct adjective is 'transcendent'—but with a grin, a wink, and a brain-stunning leap forward.