In case you hadn’t noticed, Gospel music is much appreciated in France.
A new album by Jay Lou will be released in France on March 6. The album Ebotan features Jay Lou’s style which he describes as PAF Progressive African Jazz. He was born in Cameroon, Africa, Israël Jean-Louis Ava.
During his childhood, he was heavily influenced by gospel music (his father wrote religious songs). You can read the rest of Jay Lou’s bio on his site or listen to some sample excerpts. Duke Ellington and Wes Montgomery were two of his favorites growing up. Before he could devote his life to music, he had to fulfill a promise to his father – getting a degree as a computer science engineer in Paris. First things first.
Other albums include “Remember J.L. Ava Ava” African gospel. (1998) and “Spellings” (2002)
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Elisabeth Tchounqui who writes the culture section for www.France24.com translates for us the meaning of the word ‘Ebotan’ which means in the the Beti language – ‘Benediction’. She describes Jay Lou’s forest homeland as a land of winding rivers through emerald forests and his music which embodies much of the ‘terroir’ in a way that goes beyond the labels of ‘folkloric or exotic’. Jay Lou brings it on home to city dwellers who may not have set foot in the woods outside of Bois de Boulogne for a lifetime.