Zoho Records: Trio Mundo & Vic Juris
Full of vivacity and bright hues Trio Mundo truly Rides Again on their new release. On the success of 2002's debut release Carnaval the music continues with a Pan-Cultural blend of funky and eclectic sounds. At the heart of the recording is percussionist and vocalist Manolo Badrena who is long remembered with the 70's jazz group Weather Report and also a member of guitarist Steve Khan's "Eyewitness," which produced some killer recordings in the 80's. Badrena's arsenal of percussion skills also includes - chants, vocalizations, and lyrics as he is joined by equally skilled veterans - guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Andy Mckee, and return guest Steve Slagle on sax and flute; the music breaths with a more resonant sound and tighter performances.
Recorded in the studio after a weekend performance at jazz club Sweet Rhythm in New York in early 2004, the eleven compositions were penned by various group members. The live performance feel is carried into the resulting work as each musician plays with liveliness that creates an enjoyable experience. A powerful bass line sustains the guitar/saxophone harmony on the opening "Mundo Rides Again" and Badrena's shower of percussion skills signals the group's return. Individual contributions are the mainstay of the recording with Stryker and Slagle providing excellent skills on their respective instruments and opening the music with extended and involved solos. Bassist Mckee is the cement to the music and also pens two selections. There are few lulls in the music and highlights include burners "What You Want" and "Africano" as well as the soothing tropic breezes of "Guille" and "PinareÅ„a."
Some may not be familiar with the smooth strings of veteran guitarist Vic Juris. A skilled studio musician on numerous recordings with artists such as saxophonists Richie Cole and Dave Liebman, Juris's presence and leadership are more importantly heard on his new recording Blue Horizon which takes an interesting take on the jazz guitar idiom.
The recording features the guitarist on a combination of electric, steel, and nylon string guitars, which he commands each with mastery. His skills are equal to other contemporary guitar luminaries and the unorthodox style of the recording combined with strong band contributions makes for a memorable listen.
There are two key elements that play an integral part on the recording with the first being the diverse selection makeup that consists of modern compositions such as the opening selection "Dancing Shadows" and the odd patterned "Kling On" with Juris's notable use of guitar-synthesizer effects.
The other key component is the presence of vibraphonist Joe Locke who brings a nice contrast of sound with hints of some early Gary Burton and Pat Metheny recordings. Add in the solid rhythm section of bassist and producer Jay Anderson, and veteran Adam Nussbaum on drums, and Jamey Haddad's stellar percussion work and the mix is ripe for creativity.
The three guitar duo selections ("GoJo," "DoMo," and "VJay") with vibes, drums, and bass are nice excursions and show the guitarist's depth and imagination. Juris delivers a recording with texture, swing, and substance and sounds fresh in any format whether swinging hard on "889" or providing acoustic offerings on "The Spanish Horse" and "Sunset on Vega."
Personnel:Manolo Badrena drums, percussion, guitar, vocals Dave Stryker guitar, Andy McKee bass, special guest : Steve Slagle soprano & alto sax, flute
Tracks:1. Mundo Rides Again 2. Cameroun 3. Sweet Rhythm 4. Corazon 5. What You Want 6. Guille 7. Pinarena 8. Africano 9. Dream Maurice 10. Hot Ice 11. Shanti
Personnel:Vic Juris, electric & acoustic guitars; Joe Locke, vibes, marimba; Jay Anderson, bass; Adam Nussbaum, drums; Jamey Haddad, percussion
Tracks: 1. Dancing Shadows 2. Soft Spoken 3. Labyrinth 4. Kling On 5. Uphill 6. GoJo Duo 7. Sunset on Vega 8. DoMo Duo 9. The Spanish Horse 10. Twentyfive 11. VJay Duo 12. I've Heard That Song Before