Yusan is a French jazz sextet — Ann Shirley (vocals), Romain Cucq (saxophone), Ralph Lavital (guitar), Kevin Jubert (piano), Gwen Ladeux (bass), and Mathieu Edward (drums) — that can trace its origins back to when its members serendipitously met at at unexpected residency at La Maison Des Artistes in Chamonix, France. Bonding over common musical influences, the members of Yusan felt an instant simpatico and decided to create music together.
Interestingly, the act, which specializes in sound that draws from Caribbean music, African rhythms, gospel and others was given the name Yusan by a mutual friend — and according to the band Yusan in Korean means “heritage.”
The act’s latest single “Chiraj” is a breezy swing centered around an arrangement that features African polyrhythm, Afro-Caribbean scatting, a sinuous Jaco Pastorious-like bass line, shimmering and dexterous guitar work, some and a playful horn line. Each musician seems to know when to push, pull and lead — and with a joyful, fun-loving mischievously air. The expansive song structure allows the act to dabble in Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian jazz, Weather Report-like jazz fusion and funk with a summery air.