Aka Moon

Aka Moon is an avant-garde Belgian jazz band. The core trio is composed of Fabrizio Cassol (saxophone), Michel Hatzigeorgiou (bass) and Stephane Galland (drummer). They were all musicians who had previously played in different groups, including the Nasa Na Band (with guitarist Pierre Van Dormael), but decided to record Aka Moon together after spending time in Central Africa studying the musical habits and customs of the Aka pygmies tribe. Their first album was released in 1992. It was inspired by the music of the pygmies. They are often mispronounced “AKA Moon”, referring to the acronym “also called as”. Correct pronunciation is “AH-kah MoON”. Aka Moon’s sound is a mix of jazz, rock and avant-garde. You could compare them musically and philosophically to the M-Base movement, Steve Coleman, Belgian band Octurn, Sylvain Kathala’s Print and Rudresh Mahanthappa, just to name a few. The original trio was featured on their first three albums, Aka Moon, Rebirth and Live at Kaai, which were released in the early 1990s. They began to incorporate Eastern elements into their music in the mid-90s. Akasha Vol.1 u0026 Akasha Vol. 2 were released, which included instrumentation such flute, tabla and mridangam. This added depth to their work. In 1997, they changed the group’s configuration with three albums. Ganesh was a more eastern-sounding album, similar to the Akasha ones, with Marc Ducret as a guitarist. Elohim featured an electric lineup, with vocalist David Linx as well as keyboardist Benoit Delecq on certain tracks. They started to explore the idea of recurring themes. The trio performed Live At Vooruit with Doudou N’Diaye Rose (a Senegalese percussionist) and other members of his family. The group attempted to create a trio of albums in the late 1990s that would loosely intertwine Invisible Mother, Invisible Sun and Invisible Moon. The Chinese I Ching (book containing changes) was the basis of the concept. Invisible Mother features the trio performing with the Ictus Ensemble (a European chamber band). This music showcases the dark chamber string-quartet side the band and sets the stage for the subsequent albums in the trilogy. Invisible Sun is an eleven-piece big band group. Invisible Moon is a big band that features Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Benoit Delbecq, and has strong world music influences. Aka Moon revisits and re-arranges many themes that were found in various spots throughout the trilogy. In Real Time, originally composed for a ballet, was released in 2001. Guitars, which features the trio with three guitarists (including David Gilmore), was released in 2002. The album features recurring themes that are rearranged as the group pays tribute to various guitarists, including Bill Frisell and John Scofield. The new album Amazir, featuring Magic Malik (flute, vocal) and Fabian Fiorini (“piano”), was released in 2006. Aka Moon is a leader band in a whole modern jazz movement in Belgium. It features artists such as Pierre Van Dormael and Octurn.

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