top of page

Global Music Column – December

Jowee Omicil – Spiritual Healing: Bwa Kayiman Freedom Suite

In August 1791, a group of enslaved Haitians met in the woods of Bois Caïman, on the north coast of Haiti, and conducted a secret Vodou ceremony that planted the seeds for the Haitian Revolution. This collective ritual, which would go on to inspire a mass uprising, now forms the energetic inspiration for Haitian saxophonist Jowee Omicil’s latest album, Spiritual Healing: Bwa Kayiman Freedom Suite. Over an hour, Omicil transposes the imagined energy of the ceremony into a free jazz interpretation, switching between several woodwinds and brass while accompanied by percussion, keys and bass.


The album opens minimally, with Omicil vocalising over plaintive snatches of saxophone melody, guttural bass clarinet and rattles of percussionist Yoann Danier’s ka drum. Sweeping his hand across the surface of the drum as if replicating the rustle of forest leaves, Danier situates the listener in the imagined setting of Bois Caïman before Omicil punctures the soothing soundscape with a clarion call on cornet. That forceful entry signifies much of what is to come: compositions that build a certain comfortable mood before switching tack and upending expectations.


Read the review in the Guardian.


[This piece was published on 08/12/23]

Recent Posts

See All

Global Music Column – February

Amaro Freitas – Y’Y Brazilian pianist Amaro Freitas approaches the 88 keys of his piano as if they were drums. Across three albums since his 2016 debut Sangue Negro, Freitas has honed a style of muscu

Global Music Column – January

Sam Gendel and Fabiano do Nascimento – The Room Few saxophonists are capable of conjuring as many mutant sounds from their instrument as Sam Gendel. Since his 2017 debut, the LA-based instrumentalist

The 10 best global albums of 2023

10. Ale Hop and Laura Robles – Agua Dulce Peru’s Laura Robles and Ale Hop explore the radical history of the cajón on their fiercely unusual debut album. Processing the box-shaped percussion instrumen

bottom of page