A young quintet with a polished debut album

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A young quintet with a polished debut album, Njava connects directly to the folk music of Madagascar, with its reedy, entrancing vocal harmonies and exotic instrumentation. Like other African guitarists, the group's Dozzy has adapted the technique of an indigenous instrument--the marovany harp--to great effect, playing at a passionate, breakneck clip. Vocalists Monika and Lala create thick, seamless harmonies as they sing of the anxiety of a fisherman's family or the art of flirting under a full moon. Njava has done an exciting job of popularizing the folkloric styles of tribes from the island's southern regions. The music draws from Madagascar's local heritage much as Fairport Convention did upon English folk melodies for their best work. Njava has the feel of a band of world music stars in the making, who on the strength of this release alone catapult to the top of the global pack.Hemisphere