The second EP from Victoria’s Coco Jafro marks the beginning of a new era for the group. The local band had been playing around Victoria for several years in various incarnations and had developed its musical chops to the point where the band needed to take the next step towards widening its audience.The addition of vocalist Karina Mo- rin gave the band instant credibility and wid- er appeal from its former jazz-funk niche and Afro-Latin-inspired instrumentals found on the first EP. Morin holds the record together with her rich, dynamic vocals but makes sure to give the rest of the band plenty of room to lay down their grooves.
On Voodoo, Coco Jafro maintains much of the improvisational vibe of their live shows, while often working within a more traditional song structure. The title track is a hypnotic jazzy funk number featuring Mo- rin’s soaring vocals that explodes in the sec- ond half of the song with fiery solos from guitarist Amine Said and saxophonist Eric Hughes.“Siete” is certainly the band’s catchi- est song to date. This Latin-inspired gem’s hook breaks down numbers one through seven en Español, and highlights Said’s San- tana-like guitar licks.Voodoo’s weakest link is “India,” a soft-pop keyboard-driven song that doesn’t seem to fit with the energy and vibe
of the other five songs.
Perhaps this strong, full-length al- bum will be able to push the band toward its true potential of being one of the premier
funk/soul acts in western Canada. – Nathan Ambrose