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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

CD Review: Felipe Salles - Departure

Felipe Salles (ten/sop/fl/bs clt); Randy Brecker (tpt); Nando Michelin (pno); Keala Kaumeheiwa (bs); Bertram Lehmann (dms/perc); Laura Arpiainen (vln).
Brazilian reedman and composer Salles has put together an intriguing collection of originals drawn from his immersion in a mix of the native music of Brazil, contemporary classical music and, of course, jazz in the form of Bebop, Blues and beyond. Add ace trumpet man Randy Brecker and Salles' long term international band (pianist from Uruguay, German drummer, Boston bassist and a violinist from Helsinki) and you have a very cosmopolitan cupcake.
Needless to say, any album with Brecker aboard is worth listening to but, in case you aren't familiar with the leader's work, Salles is one mighty tenor player. The moods vary. Title track Departure gives an audio image of an airport scenario and maybe Seagull's Island is passed over on the journey. Both tracks are post hard bop workouts but Béla's Reflection is a jazzy exploration of composer Béla Bartok's work. 
Maracatu D'Orleans takes the indigenous music of Pernambuco and infuses it with some post bop and a hint of New Orleans drumming. Brecker shines and I could imagine this played by Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Awaiting - a plaintive cry for help with Salles at his most lyrical. This is someone gazing into the unknown -  will she/won't she? B's Blues has Salles exploring - could be Joe Lovano, Salles knows his way around the horn. Michelin's piano break prompts Salles into further extravaganzas. Bass and drums do a Time Out chorus before Salles takes it out. I haven't studied enough Schoenberg to appreciate the niceties of Schoenberg's Error. C'est La vie! It's a rather beautiful piece anyway and it doesn't sound like an error to me! It contains, perhaps, Salles finest solo of the album. Michelin's solo let's us know that Uruguay can also nurture jazz musicians. Adagio Trieste is quite lovely with it's pastoral meandering - each player taking a slow walk down their own favourite byways - a lover's lane, a school walk or just a place to wander and reminisce. It didn't lead to the next street which was, 52nd Street, This track - Natural Selection - was born in Birdland, on 52nd or maybe at Mintons. For me this is the track of the album but, bebop biassed as I am., it would be! Brecker and Salles lay it down.
Recommended.
Lance.

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