Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sao Paulo Underground - Beija Flors Velho E Sujo (Cuneiform, 2013)

Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek is one of the hardest working musicians in the field of jazz and improvised music, both leading and collaborating in several groundbreaking ensembles. Sao Paulo Underground is a very exciting band that combines jazz, electronics and fusion into a vigorous brew of music. Along with Mazurek, the band is rounded out by Guilherme Granado on keyboards and synthesizer, and Mauricio Takara on percussion and electronics. The band sounds much bigger than three musicians with the use of electronics and strong percussion recalling Miles Davis’s mid-1970’s dark-funk records like Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangea. But the music on this album never turns to sludge no matter how industrious it becomes, and the personalities of the group shine through. Songs like “Ol’ Dirty Hummingbirds” develop a blustery opening, only to throttle back for a quieter mid-section before dramatically ramping up to close. “Over the Rainbow” is a feature for ballad cornet, while “The Love That I Feel For You Is More Real Than Ever” shows that while the band can swoop and wail, they are also capable of tender moments as well. The music on this album works very well, and the group supersedes any easy genre description in developing a broad based and resonant sound pushed forth with an energetic vigor. Beija Flors Velho E Sujo - amazon.com

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