Serge Fabriano is from Guadeloupe but grew up in Paris. He specialised in bass and was destined to work as a music teacher, until some notable encounters led him to start his own music project. Indeed, one can only imagine how influential and mind opening it must have been to meet and befriend Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln and Gary Bartz during a month long festival in Tehran!
He learned the trade by playing in funk bands and most importantly alongside bass royalty Stanley Clarke, one of Fabriano’s mentors and of the most important artists in the jazz world fusion scene. Having also played with some of Guadeloupe’s most important artists such as Guy Conquette, Vélo or Patrick Jean-Marie, he went on to create the Fabriano Unité Zion concept, a no borders fusion of Caribbean and international sounds.
Using gwoka as its matrix and featuring some of the islands’ most revered musicians (Mario Canonge on piano, Alain Jean-Marie on synths, Marie-Reine Lamoureux and Marie-Céline Lafontaine on vocals, Roger Raspail and Hector Ficadière on ka, Edouard and Pierre Labor on saxophone), the effortless flow of the music gives you a great idea of the complicity - or rather cosmicity - which must have linked the musicians during the recording.
“Karibbean Suite” was big tune at Plastic People’s Balance in the early 00s, “Kominiké” is a huge track at BATB, “Kosmos 1 & 2” is the finest example of cosmic, spiritual West Indies fusion, and every other track on there is of the same mould. Alongside Gratien Midonet’s output and Roland Brival’s Créole Gypsy, this album is arguably one of the very finest and most important albums of cosmic Caribbean fusion. Hybrid music of the highest order which fuses gwoka, spiritual jazz, funk and much more in a unique (did I say cosmik?) fashion. A true masterpiece beautifully reissued by BeauMonde records.
Listen to "Karibbean Suite": https://tinyurl.com/5ed63tfk