The Reason Why Vol. 3 Goran Kajfeš

November 23, 2017

The Guardian

Led by the staggeringly prolific Swedish trumpeter Goran Kajfeš, the Subtropic Arkestra are possibly the best of those many bands who meld Afrobeat, Ethio-jazz and big band funk. This is the third in the Arkestra’s Reason Why trilogy, and like the two earlier volumes, it features a delightfully weird mix of covers – obscure worldbeat gems, recent indie anthems, dippy psychedelic oddities – each creatively reinvented by a talented nine-piece. A skittery waltz by Ethiopian jazz pioneer Hailu Mergia becomes a slinky piece of horn-led funk, complete with woozy slide guitar; a pulsating piece of Afrobeat by Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo features an ecstatic free-jazz freakout by tenorist Per “Texas” Johansson; a hymnal reading of Panda Bear’s You Can Count On Mecomes wreathed in shards of astral jazz. Like all of Kajfeš’s covers albums, researching the source material will send you down some very rewarding wormholes.