She is 32 years old and as slender as her tenor saxophone, but the sounds she gets out of her instrument is full and intense. Sophie Alour
gave a concert last night in the Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambicain
in Maputo. The house was full and the Mozambican audience appreciated Alour's own compositions. The Française is touring Africa with her new cd Uncaged
. She already jammed with local musicians in Namibia, played on Madagascar and travels on today to South-Africa. People living in Ethiopia, Burundi or Eritrea might be able to catch her. Alour will be playing on the African continent until December 12.
Alour started playing the clarinet as a young girl and only discovered the saxophone when she was nineteen. She is more or less an autodidact and the French love her. Le Monde wrote 'everybody talks about Alour'. There aren't that many female jazz musicians, so that alone is a reason to go and see her play somewhere in Africa.
Moreover Alour is accompanied by several excellent musicians. Especially percussionist Karl Jannuska - nineteen years old - is impressive. I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from him in the future. Experienced pianist Laurent Coq completes the group. His own piece Jackson
, which he wrote after a jam session with a Namibian guitar player by that name, was exactly the festive encore to conclude the night.
I couldn't find an exact tour program online, which is a pity. Just check your local French-African cultural centers. French cultural colonialism sometimes is not so bad...