Sometimes you have to take the long way around to find out where you’re coming from. Could be Havana, Cuba. Could be Mogadishu, Somalia. Could be Ghent, Belgium. That’s exactly what Compro Oro, one of the leading bands in the ever-expanding New Wave of Belgian Jazz have been doing since 2015.
The first album Transatlantic was an ode to jazz vibrophonist Cal Tjader and was lauded in the press as a drunken mix of Buena Vista Social Club and guitarist Marc Ribot’s Cubanos Postizos.
2017 saw the release of Bombarda, a bold EP that sailed South and East of Cuba, incorporating different ethnic rhythms and melodies in elaborate jams. No palm trees and cocktails in Havana this time, but instead dingy basements and LSD in West African cities.
On the new album, Suburban Exotica, the band takes things yet one step further, adding the sounds of the Middle East to the mix. The album has been produced by keyboardist Dijf Sanders. Special guest Joachim Cooder – son of living legend Ry Cooder - offers percussion and his effects-laden electric mbira.