For his follow-up to 2008’s Encanto, another “enchanted celebration” of the Brazilian songbook, Mendes returns with his refreshing and invigorating new Concord Records collection, Bom Tempo. The melodies are indelible, the explosive percussion is exciting, the harmony-laced singing exhilarates, and the arrangements exude both celebration and romance. “This is bom tempo music, good times music,” says the Brazilian-born, U.S.-based producer- composer pianist-keyboardist-arranger- who sought to sum up the CD with a succinct Portuguese title. “It’s all about the good times, good weather, good tempos. The album is about the diversity, joy and sensuality of Brazilian music—songs I previously recorded and some that I never have—played by Brazilian and American musicians.
…Perhaps that is the secret of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s enduring appeal: they sing music that falls completely outside of contemporary style and fashion, that unlike the songs of many other African acts is almost completely devoid of overt political content, yet is so pure and uplifting that it speaks for itself and points the way to a better, safer, healthier and more integrated world where all forms of expression are possible. What more could you want from an album than that?
The SYNDICATE, consisting of former members of the Zawinul Syndicate, some new guys and special guests vocalist Sabine Kabongo (Zawinul Syndicate, Zap Mama, Trilok Gurtu) and keyboarder Eric Mouquet ("Deep Forest") (both with a Grammy of their own) have a fresh look at some Zawinul composition not everyone might know. It's a blast. A lot is going on. You can hear the band enjoyed the recording. Zawinul might be dead, but his music keeps grooving (and still growing on me after all those years). After hearing this album a few dozen times I am still not tired of it. It might be the best low risk/high reward investment available out there.
Charming Hostess is a whirl of eerie harmony, hot rhythm and radical braininess. Our music explores the intersection of text and the sounding body– complex ideas expressed physically, based on voice and vocal percussion, handclaps and heartbeats, sex-breath and silence. We live where diasporas collide, incorporating piyyutim and Pygmy counterpoint, doo-wop and niggunim, work songs and Torah chanting. The texts speak of mysticism and sex; angels and demons; and the trials and joys of love and sex…