a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Senses – Infinito (world)
In the best Brazilian tradition of borrowing something from everywhere and swirling it all together. Drums and percussion drive each song, and you'll find everything from flutes and gongs to melodica and bird whistles to carry the tune. This truly is a "banquet of the senses," so go and eat well.
Listen to Cyro Baptista “Kwanza”
John Zorn – O’o (jazz)
A small, vibraphone-led jazz ensemble with tropical overtones. This set is lively and tuneful, with straight-ahead numbers and even some rock-influenced tracks. If the regular reviews of his various projects in this space haven't convinced you, the music should: this guy can do anything.
Listen to John Zorn “Miller’s Crake”
Junkyard Rebellion – Rebellion Politik (rap)
The "rebellion" moniker fits both the sonic innovation and the progressive politics of the group. Some live instrumentation as well as studio wizardry, and more than a little spoken-word influence among the rhymes.
Listen to Junkyard Rebellion “Original Assumption”
Aphrodesia – Precious Commodity (world)
Animated Nigerian-style funk from an American band. Aphrodesia has a solid horn section and full-throttle drumming designed to get you moving.
Listen to Aphrodesia “Special Girl”
Watermelon Slim – Escape From the Chicken Coop (blues)
Slim is one of the more innovative bluesmen playing today, bringing a sense of immediacy to a venerable form. This set mixes in enough country twang to make for good driving music, especially if your vehicle of choice is an 18-wheeler on a cross-country haul.
Listen to Watermelon Slim “Caterpillar Whine”
Yim Yames – Tribute To (folk)
A 6-song solo tribute to George Harrison. Reverb-laden and ruminative, Yames' intimate re-interpretations manage to find new emotional terrain in familiar songs.
Listen to Yim Yames “Long, Long, Long”
Also worth a listen: Selaelo Selota, Solillaquists of Sound, Zabe da Loca
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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