MAGIC FROM MADAGASCAR
Tuesday, March 28, 2000 ; Page C07
Nivo and the Serge Rahoerson Group, a jazz trio from
Madagascar, delivered a rich fusion of rhythm and blues, classic
American jazz and complex African beats Saturday night at the
Hilton Embassy Row Hotel in the group's Washington area debut.
Virtually unknown in the United States but firmly established
in Europe, the group offered a mixture of the familiar and the
exotic--standards such as "Since I Fell for You" and "Satin Doll,"
along with such original tunes as "Lainga" and "Fally" with lyrics
Serge Rahoerson (piano-saxophone) serves as composer and
arranger, and Gerard Rakoto (bass-vocals) gives the trio's music a
solid foundation. But the revelation was Nivo Rahoerson, a little
woman with an enormous voice. At times she evoked Ella or Sarah or
Aretha--but not in ways that sounded derivative or even
intentional. With its unusual range and depth, the voice, in the
end, was pure Nivo.